Canadians turn out in the hundreds to celebrate World Cup

The Canadian Press
7/13/2014 8:46:19 PM
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TORONTO -- Canadians turned out by the hundreds to watch Germany beat Argentina in the World Cup final on Sunday, with many braving either a scorching sun or heavy downpour.

Supporters gathered in public spaces across the country to cheer on their teams, watching Germany beat Argentina 1-0 in extra time to claim its fourth World Cup win.

In Toronto, hundreds of sweat-drenched fans gathered downtown near the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and watched tensely as the game went through a scoreless 90 minutes.

While many donned the striped jerseys of Argentina, Germany's supporters seemed to be greater in number and a lot more vocal.

Chants of "Germany!" and "Deutschland!" filled the air and grew louder each time either goalkeeper blocked off a shot.

"If you're German, you just cheer for every moment," said Nicole Hauvisen, who has lived in Toronto for five years.

While Germany's supporters -- many with their faces painted and some shirtless -- erupted into dance at the end of the match, Argentina's supporters slinkered away silently, with some declining interviews.

One man who was cheering for Argentina, Rhys Wakeham, said he thought the game was done as soon as Germany put in its single goal with just seven minutes left in the game.

"It was like hopeless," he said. "I though that was it. I though that was the end right there, when they scored... Germany's defence was just too strong."

In Montreal, several hundred people braved overcast skies for an outdoor party at Montreal's Parc Jean Drapeau, which is on the same island where the Montreal Grand Prix is held.

Rain spat at the enthusiastic crowd gathered before two large screens before turning into a downpour as the match went into the final minutes. The mob erupted with cheers as Germany was declared the winner and then scattered amid the driving rain. Some hung around to savour the win.

Jonathan Lohe Chung, who had supported Argentina, said he didn't expect it to take so long for someone to score.

"I was expecting two or three goals in this whole game but how they played everything was pretty conservative on both sides," he said. "Great game no matter what."

In Vancouver, there were mixed feelings about Germany's win amongst the hundreds who gathered to watch the game.

"Vancouver is the city of bandwagons," said Patrick Koo. "I'm pretty sure everyone's a Germany fan now."

"I was rooting for Germany, I bet a little bit of money on them." said Craig McKimm. "I think I'll win $26 or something like that -- don't tell my girlfriend though."

In Edmonton, where sports hoopla is typically reserved for hockey or the other type of football, hundreds gathered under a baking Prairie sun to watch the final on a big screen in the city's downtown.

"I'm from Toronto and I didn't expect this much support for the World Cup in Edmonton," said Arsh Sidhu, who was wearing an Argentina jersey.

Rob Welte and his family, who were on their way back to Fort McMurray after a holiday in B.C., were also surprised to see such a large crowd.

Welte, a Germany supporter, explained that his family were such big soccer fans that they took a break from camping during their trip to drive to Kamloops to watch Germany beat France in the quarter-finals.

"This is perfect for World Cup," Welte said as he sat among the crowd in Edmonton. "You get a lot of people in public rooting for their country. It's just awesome."

With files from Steven Chua in Vancouver, Nelson Wyatt in Montreal and Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton.

Canadian fans watch World Cup (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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