Tonight I got to see my first professional football (soccer) game as the New Zealand All-Whites took on Mexico in the final qualifier for the 2014 World Cup! I was able to snag a ticket from one of my co-workers (for a great price too) who ended up with an extra ticket last minute. Knowing how serious New Zealanders take their football (like they do their rugby) I ran home after work to find something white to wear to the game.
As I rode my scooter into the city, the streets were filled with fans getting psyched for the game as New Zealand flags were draped as capes and a sea of white was seen on every corner. The game was completely sold out as 35,000 fans made their way into the stadium.
|All-Whites fans making their way into the WestPac Football stadium|
We ended up having pretty decent seats and in a section of die-hard fans chanting and cheering as they slung back beer after beer. What was even better was they sold little 4-packs of beer so people wouldn’t have to keep going back in line and miss the game. Unfortunately I found out the hard way – No Passport, No Beer – so my co-worker had to smuggle me one of his.
|A few of the hard core All-Whites fans|
The half time show was pretty simple, but I did love the Zorbing race! Next time I want to be the one in the Zorb!
Despite expecting Mexico to slaughter the All-Whites, the crowd was optimistic and yet extremely curt with their cheers. I nearly lost it when the Mexican player took a bad dive and the crowd cheered “She fell over! She fell over!” and then “The referees a wangka! The referees a wangka!” in their Kiwi accents. When the All-Whites finally scored with 10 mins to go, the crowd erupted and brought life back to the stadium.
Another goal 2 mins later, despite still being down 3-2 it was hopeful a miracle could happen, however Mexico held out and tipped another one in at the end finishing it off 4-2.By then the crowd had settled down and everyone cheered the Mexico team as they celebrated their accomplishment of moving onto the World Cup.
P.S. Not sure how New Zealand came to name their national sports teams but they aren’t exactly the most politically correct names… All-Whites and All-Blacks…