Game Day: USA v Algeria
Johannesburg Travel Blog› entry 15 of 16 › view all entries
Mark, two girls from the hostel, and myself took a train to Pretoria in order to score some tickets to the USA versus Algeria game. Mark had lined up a friend who had the tickets, but he wanted double the face value. We played hard ball and he finally reduced the price significantly. As we were waiting for him to show up at the meeting spot, a man offered tickets and we took those. These were seats behing the net so they were dirt cheap. As Mark and I entered the stadium we couldn't find our seats. The scene inside the stadium was electric. The excitement was palpable. We got caught up in the choas and eventually just sat down on the halfway line about 5 rows up. Pretty much the best seats in the house.
A mad dash from security got us plenty lost. When we finally asked a stadium worker for directions show pointed into a hallway and said "just go in there." That was how we ended up in a suite. These seats were amazing. There was food and alcohol, I love that lady, she was an angel.
At halftime we wanted to sit on the side the US would be attacking, so we found our real seats. Although the US had many chances the score remained 0-0. The suspense continued until the 91st minute, when Landon Donovan put a rebound in the back of the net. We went ballistic. That was the single most exhilarating sporting event I have ever witnessed live. We stayed inside the stadium and celebrated until they kicked us out.
The train situation on the way home was anti-awesome. Apparently the only train back towards Johannesburg was express and would not be stopping in Olifontsfontein. But we got on it anyway. And one of the conductors that told us to get on the train, had the train stopped for us, even though it was not supposed to stop. We had to pry open the doors and jumped down about 10 feet, and everyone on the train was telling us not to, but it worked out. We got back to the hostel and hung out with Walter as we told our story of the night.