Last week I finally lived out one of my lifelong dreams: attending a fútbol game in a country where the national sport is fútbol. For someone who grew up playing soccer I have always wished that the sport was more popular in the U.S., but living in Costa Rica has given me the opportunity to experience the excitement and energy of people who live and breathe fútbol.
A group of international Universidad Veritas students and I went to the Torneo de Copa de Costa Rica (National Bank Cup Tournament) semifinals between Saprissa and Cartago at the Estadio Nacional in San José. My familia tica are Saprissa fans so obviously, that is who we were rooting for and the game did not disappoint.
After a somewhat interesting public transportation commute to the stadium, we arrived just in time to see the first goal by Saprissa during the first half. Even though the stadium was only half full, the fans were still pretty hard-core. Each team had a special section of fans (you have to be specially invited to sit there for Saprissa) and they had full drum lines, signs, singing and crazy amounts of energy throughout the whole game. During the second half, Cartago tied the game and then went ahead 2-1. In the last several minutes of regulation play Saprissa tied it up again 2-2 forcing the game straight to penalties. No overtime in Costa Rica.
Penalty kicks are always so nerve-racking and these proved to be the most intense penalties I have ever seen! Saprissa kicked first and the Cartago goalie saved it! From there each team made their shots so it all came down to the last kick of the original five and Saprissa had to save it or they would lose the game…and they did!!! After that each team would get one more kick until someone won! In the end, Saprissa won 7 penalties to 6 penalties. It was so exciting and such an awesome first fútbol game in Costa Rica!
Written By Jennifer Hall, Social Media Journalist