SAO PAULO (AP) — In the streets of Sao Paulo, Colombians and Uruguayans were already facing off with each other, exchanging chants after Colombia beat Japan 4-1. Uruguay's victory over Italy meant the two teams will meet Saturday in the knockout round.
They were fighting for attention from local media's cameras set up in Vila Madalena, the city's World Cup party central. Colombians were shouting "Ole, ole," and a Uruguayan displayed his country's flag behind the group.
"Tell us what you predict the score will be on Saturday," one Colombian asked an Urugayan.
"At least 2-1," the Uruguayan fan responded.
"We are all friends. But we are going to win," said Rodrigo Gonzalez, a Uruguayan living in Sao Paulo. "It's all cool as long as they don't beat me up."
— By Adriana Gomez Licon — www.twitter.com/agomezlicon
SAO PAULO (AP) — There are plenty of cool places to watch a World Cup match in Brazil, but for Dutch fan Jan Eykma, this is as good as it gets: a beer in hand, a big screen ahead and a legendary stadium as a backdrop.
On the final day of his personal World Cup adventure, and after watching his beloved Netherlands secure first place in Group B with a victory over Chile, the 46-year-old Dutchman decided to take in some history and visited Sao Paulo's Museu Do Futebol. Nestled into historic Pacaembu Stadium, the museum houses hundreds of photos, game balls and other artifacts tracing the game's history in Brazil. There are items belonging to Pele, Garrincha and others. There's even an interactive section where you can kick a virtual penalty shot.
After the nostalgic visit, Eykma said it was extra special to watch Italy play Uruguay on a screen placed just in front of the concrete steps leading up to the pitch that hosted several games of the 1950 World Cup.
"It's perfect. It doesn't get much better than this," he said with a smile. "It's just such a great place to watch. The environment, the stadium."
— By Aron Heller — www.twitter.com/aronhellerap
SPIRITED TRASH BAGS
CUIABA, Brazil (AP) — Forget banners. Many Japanese fans were waving bright blue garbage bags at the group stage finale against Colombia.
The Japanese have touched spectators around the world by cleaning up their trash after every match at the World Cup.
Japan fan Mikio Tomita was brandishing a trash bag signed by his work colleagues back home and bearing the message: "Go for it!"
For the first time at this year's tournament, the fans of Japan's Blue Samurai were outnumbered by the opposition — with Cuiaba's Pantanel Stadium a sea of the yellow and red of Brazil's neighbor, Columbia. But they were as spirited as ever — dressed as enormous eggs, Daruma good luck-charm dolls and shaggy-bearded shamans.
— By Joji Sakurai — www.twitter.com/jojisakurai
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The French Football Federation has apologized to the players' wives and families for a hotel mix-up when they arrived in Rio for Wednesday's Group E match against Ecuador.
The FFF said in a statement Tuesday that it "fully assumes" responsibility for "the inconvenience caused" when they had to change hotels after getting into town Monday.