The Copa América Centenario is over. For me at least – no more stadium. I got to go to the stadium for all three matches held in Houston.
Game 1: Colombia 2-3 Costa Rica
Colombia’s coach Nestor Pekerman miscalculated and lost the match and the first place of the group. Still made it to quarterfinals. Costa Rica closed the tournament with dignity. Interestingly, this is the second time I see Costa Rica play, and they won both times.
Game 2: Mexico 1-1 Venezuela
Venezuela did well and was ahead for most of the game.
A few days after the Orlando gay club shooting, the full stadium respectfully honors the victims with a moment of silence before the match starts. But only a few minutes later, the cultured Mexican fans go back to their famous gay slur:
I get it, people who are obviously straight think it’s funny and not offensive in this context. But it’s up to those who feel offended to decide whether it’s offensive. Also, the joke is kind of old by now.
Game 3: Argentina 4-0 USA
Oh boy, Argentina played at half capacity and completely humiliated the host team. USA had no ball possession and created no opportunities. In the second half, the American players would stay 3-6 feet away from Lionel Messi whenever he had the ball… they simply stopped trying. Due to happy circumstances and the generosity of some people, I sat really close to the field and was able to see the action up-close.
This is my view – short video of Argentina’s 4th goal celebration:
A couple of weeks ago I toured the new stadium with my dad, brothers and their kids and wives. I had already been to the game but for some reason they didn’t let me use the jacuzzi in the locker room that time. Conspicuously absent were my own kid and wife. I suppose they don’t care and I’ll go to Russia by myself in 2018.
I will miss the decrepit homeyness of Estadio Tecnológico where I spent countless afternoons of soccer; that said, this place is amazing. See for yourself: photos from the match day. Photos from the tour in a separate post.