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Our Malaysian friends were also watching the same match and we arranged to travel to the stadium together. The tickets came with transport instructions and we gave ourselves ample time by setting off two hours before kick-off.
Like the other fans, we followed the bright yellow signs directing us to the stadium.
Soon we came to the first checkpoint where security staff checked our tickets. We would stop for several more times before we got to the stadium.
As our Malaysian friends were sitting in a different section, we had to split with them.
Selfie sticks weren’t allowed in the stadium and we had to deposit ours with a steward.
Both of us were awed with the stadium.
We noticed that other fans had the special edition Coca Cola cup for the match and with time to spare, we decided to get one each.
When we returned, the atmosphere was electric.
The Belgians were definitely the favourite for the game as they boasted top players such as Vincent Company and Eden Hazard. In contrast, I didn’t know most of the Russian players and their manager Fabio Capello was probably more famous.
Teams coming out of tunnel
Belgian national anthem
Russian national anthem
The first half ended 0-0 and it was quite a boring match. Both sides were cautious and didn’t create any clear-cut chances.
With time running out, I told Ying that we might need to attend another World Cup match in order to witness our first goal. Then out of nowhere, Divock Origi scored with minutes remaining in the match.
Belgian celebration after Divock Origi’s goal
The Belgians managed to hold on for the victory and the fans kept singing after the match.
We spotted some Singaporeans sitting in the same area as us and we approached them for photos. Turned out that one of them went to the same secondary school as me. It’s a small world after all!
Many fans chose not to keep the cups and we went around to get them as souvenirs.
After collecting our selfie stick, we made our way back to our accommodation. Instead of going to São Cristóvão station, we went to São Francisco Xavier station instead.
While the match wasn’t the most exciting, the late goal lifted the atmosphere. Felt sorry for the Russians who was hanging on until then. At least they have the next World Cup to look forward to on their home soil.
Meanwhile, I am thinking if we should go to Euro 2016 in France…