TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Diehard Colombia fans react to a play during the second half of the country’s FIFA World Cup quarter-final against Brazil while watching the match projected on screens at the Keystone Centre on Friday afternoon. About 100 local Colombians turned out to watch the match, and went home proud despite their team’s 2-1 loss.
Colombian soccer fans could hardly stay in their chairs at the Keystone Centre on Friday.
Liliana Molano clutches a Colombian flag during the second half of Friday’s match against Brazil. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Almost 100 Colombians residing in Westman gathered in the Convention Hall to watch their home country play host Brazil in the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals on giant TV screens.
Despite their team trailing 1-0 at halftime, the crowd was happy.
"We would be so happy and proud to see our country win," Martha Arango said in Spanish.
Maria Lopez, 13, helped to translate for her mom. Their family moved from Colombia to Brandon four years ago.
"It’s like hockey for Canada. In Colombia, we love soccer," Lopez said.
The Convention Hall entrance was decorated with small Colombian and Brazilian flags, but once inside, it was clear that this was a Colombian viewing party.
A huge Colombian flag was stretched across the front of the room between the two screens. Almost everyone in the room was wearing a Colombia jersey or carrying a flag. Noisemakers and cheering made conversation almost impossible while the play was active.
Lopez and Nalary Pena, 14, said the excitement is not near what they experienced at the start of the World Cup when they were visiting Colombia.
"It is crazy in the streets with big outdoor screens," Pena said. "Everyone is yelling and cheering, and people are throwing flour and eggs."
Even the announcers in Colombia were talking louder and faster, with tons of excitement in their voices.
Workers in Colombia had Friday off work to celebrate and watch the big game, Lopez said. It is like a soccer holiday when their home country plays in the World Cup.
It was for naught, however, as Brazil won 2-1.
"It is OK — we are proud of Colombia for getting further than they have in a long time," Pena said.
Quarter-final matches continue today with Argentina facing Belgium and the Netherlands playing Costa Rica.
Brazil will face Germany in the semifinals on Tuesday.
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 5, 2014