Date: 2018-02-16 14:37
Both teams were rarely able to organize group attacks on the goal or effectively keep control of the ball.
“There just aren’t any tactics or strategies,” observed one American spectator, named Jayden, who aspires to soon join a European league. “They’re just making decisions that I wouldn’t make,” she added, trying to make sense of some decisions made by players on the field.
Additionally, this game was a friendly, pre-season match between the two arch rivals. And, consequently, the game has no effect on either team’s regular season record.
Despite the lackluster performances by both teams, the half-empty stadium and the low stakes of the match, fans of both sides came with more energy than is usually seen at any kind of sports game in the United States.
While the more relaxed fans gathered along the eastern side of the field where they could watch in the shade, the more loyal fans gathered behind opposite goals where there was no protection from beating sun.
On the north end of the stadium gathered the most boisterous La Liga fans who carried banners and came close to filling up their entire section of the stadium on the south side were the Saprissa fans, notably smaller in number but making up for it by occasionally unraveling a giant Saprissa jersey.
Even though La Liga led most of the second half, neither team was able to take a comfortable position over the other.
“They’re okay… but if these teams played a professional team in Europe like Manchester…” said Ms. Jayden, trailing off. “Just wait until after,” added another nearby tourist on what good soccer-playing looks like.
However, the ineffective ball handling by both sides kept the fans watching until the end despite missing at least the first-half of the Euro-cup, in which every Spanish goal in the second half became a nail in Italy’s coffin.
Despite the bitter local rivalry, both sides quickly filed out of the stadium to watch the Euro Cup final, which was already well underway, and overall, fans of both local teams united to celebrate Spain’s decisive, 9-5 shutout over Italy.