There’s no better cultural experience than going to a national team’s soccer game. So, when I found out that “El Tri,” the other name for the Mexican soccer team, was playing in Estadio Azteca here in Mexico City, I had to find a way to go.
I had been to one of these games before, but it was only a friendly match against the Republic of Congo. This time, it’s a World Cup Qualifier. In other words, this one really counted. Especially since Mexico is on the brink of being left out of next year’s World Cup, something that would be unheard of.
So Hube, Edgar, Paco, and I left from the Seminary at 5:30, thinking that we had plenty of time to get to the stadium. Well, we were wrong. At 8:30, we were exiting off the main road to get to the stadium. We put the radio on and heard the national anthems. We knew we were late.
Then, we heard that the game had started, and Mexico scored a goal in the first minute. We were still in line to find parking. As we pulled up closer to the stadium, we realized that the parking lot to the stadium was closed. So we had to park on the road in front of someone’s house and pay 20 pesos more than we would have paid at the stadium parking lot.
We walked to the stadium entrance, and as we were entering, they informed Huberto that he couldn’t bring in his backpack. So he left it at one of the places where they were selling t-shirts. We got into the stadium to watch the final 5 minutes of the first half.
But the in the last few minutes of the first half, Trinidad and Tobago scored a goal, which made everyone in the stadium upset.
We got to watch the second half from our nose-bleed section seats, which actually weren’t that bad. We saw the “golazo” by Mexico and went home happy with a 2-1 victory and 3 more points for Mexico in their quest to qualify for the 2010 World Cup (check the video highlights here).
Leaving where we were parked, none of the four of us who were in the car knew which way to go. We finally made it to a recognizable place, but by now, we were starving, so we had to stop to get some tacos on the way home.
Overall, it was a fun night, despite the 5 or 6 hours we spent in the car in traffic and/or lost in Mexico City. I’m glad we went, and I’m looking forward to August 12 when the United States comes to town to play against Mexico for bragging rights and points towards the World Cup.