The World Cup is coming to a close and it has been a magical
month of soccer spiritualism. With
three games left, the world is at its peak of soccer passion and the remaining
teams are under the microscope as analysts, commentators and fans try to
predict what will happen next.
I watched today's match at El Paseo Bar & Grill and the place was filled to the brim with both Santa
Fe’s young and old. It appears
Santa Fe’s youth and young adults have finally gotten wise and now realize that
soccer is the world’s hippest sport. The bar was filled with jobless
20-somethings, the downtown suit crew on lunch break, and familiar
faces from my high school soccer career. Enjoying the finest brews on tap and New Mexican fare, the newfound aficionados cheered on Uruguay and
Netherlands in Cape Town.
The atmosphere was electric as the teams played to a 1-1 draw at the half. The game then became a real nail biter as Uruguay hunkered down into its defense and adamantly protected the goal, getting its chances on the occasional counter-attack. Then in the 70’ Wesley Sneijer blasted a shot that deflected off a Uruguayan defender and into the back of the net. Sneijer now has five goals in the tournament, tying him with Spain’s David Villa for most goals overall. Three minutes later, the decisive Dutch goal came when outside midfielder Kuyt played a beautiful cross to superstar Arjen Robben, who with his bald head rocked it into the back of the net. The bar went wild and the vibrant Dutch “oranje” spotted the shady bar.
Uruguay’s performance was admirable and it clawed and scrapped what it could for the remainder of the match and scored a goal in stoppage time. The Netherlands was able to hold on and now faces either Germany or Spain in the final. Tomorrow’s match is from Durban is one you do not want to miss. This is a rematch of the Euro Cup’s 2008 final, in which Spain defeated Germany 1-0. But with Germany playing as explosive as it is and Spain’s chemistry coming together, who knows what the final outcome may be. As the game came to a finish, cheers of “Que viva España” were yelled as the crowd poured out onto Galisteo Street; I know the fans will most certainly be back tomorrow. El Paseo at 12:30pm, be there it’ll be a fiesta or partei depending on which side you’re cheering for.
El Paseo Overall Score: 9/10 Golden Boots
This will be an ongoing blog series with a new entry or two every week about a different restaurant or bar to watch the action. If you have any suggestions for Santa Fe world cup venues by all means e-mail us at email@example.com and put “world cup” as the subject.