The one where we jumped the fence
Trip Start Jul 21, 2009
147Trip End Apr 28, 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Friday night, when Steph and I arrived in San Pedro Sula, the three of us headed to a bar in town called the International Doghouse Tavern
The next morning, as a result, we headed over to the Hilton where both the US soccer team and lots of fans were staying. There we watched the team depart the hotel, then jumped on a private shuttle bus, and headed down to the stadium. The bus had a relatively small number of fans -- perhaps 25 of us or so? We had a police escort for the bus ride there, and we were able to go past the barricades, and arrive directly outside the stadium (otherwise, a taxi would have dropped us off several blocks away, since the area around the stadium was blocked off due to the political situation). However, once the bus arrived and we got out, our police escort disappeared.
In Mexico, it was pretty clear where to go, and the police ushered us to our seats. In Honduras, it was utter chaos. The US Soccer federation had sent out an email saying that we should enter through gates 00 or 13
At Gate 13, at least things were more orderly -- there was a line. So we tried to go to the back of the line. It kept going... and going.. and going... and going. The line was clearly several hours long. What┤s more, the people in the line kept telling us we weren┤t supposed to be there. Our seats were in the ┤silla┤section. Gate 13 provided access to the ┤sombra┤section. So we returned to Gate 00.
At Gate 00, the crowd had thinned out a bit, and we were eventually able to get to the front. Once at the front, each person had to climb over the fence, to an even more crowded area, where we were finally able to see the doors to enter. Two doors were open, but the police at each door kept telling us to go to the other. Finally, we were allowed to enter -- making it into the stadium was, by far, the hardest part!!!!
Once inside the stadium, our group from the bus headed up to an open area of seats
By the time we finally made it to our seats, it was still several hours before game time. Three hours? Maybe four... but the stadium was full. I have no idea how all those people outside managed to fit in, but I think they did. Rumor has it that between counterfiet and re-sold tickets, they will sell an extra 5 to 10 thousand seats beyond what they have.
Amazingly enough, the crowd was fantastic. Once everyone arrived, we had under 50 people in the US section, and there was only a piece of tape separating me from my Honduran neighbor in the next seat. However, everyone was fantastically hospitable. The crowd was polite during our national anthem, friendly during the game, and applauded when we won. My neighbor even put up with my broken spanish to try to explain things about why people were clapping, who the famous person was, the history of the stadium and other things.
The female police officer, closest to us, was a riot
Finally, the game itself. The first half was well played with a lot of missed opportunities, and ended in a 0 to 0 tie. The second half was the most exciting half of a soccer game I have ever seen. Honduras scored once. The US scored THREE times! Honduras scored once more to bring it close at the end. And at the very end, Honduras missed their free kick to tie it. If you┤re bored, try to find the game onl˝ine and watch it! With a win, the US clinched their spot in the World Cup 2010 -- very exciting!
After the game, we waited in our section for about 45 minutes while the crowd dispersed. Once we left our section, we convinced a group of police officers to walk with us down the street to where we were supposed to meet our bus. Of course, the bus wasn┤t there, so we waited in the parking lot, under the supervision of a kid with a machette, until the bus arrived quite a bit later. After this, we headed back to the Hilton and celebrated into the night before crashing in our hostel.
Today, we┤re recovering, and taking care of a few things before Stephanie flies back tomorrow, and we head off to El Salvador.