Soccer, or depending on where you’re from, football fans from all across the world eagerly watched as Brazil looked to even the score in the last few minutes of stoppage time.
The International Student Organization, ISO, hosted a watch party in the Student Center Ballroom for the FIFA World Cup quarter-final matchup between Belgium and Brazil Friday, July 6.
The audience filled the ballroom with excitement and anticipation as each scoring opportunity was coming to fruition every couple of minutes throughout the entire match.
“This is one of the best international events you can have to view," said Sumaiya Islam, president of ISO. “The entire world is so excited about this right now. All over the world, people are excited.”
The audience was made up of many different nationalities with a plethora of languages was being spoken. There were some members in the crowd who were ardent supporters of one side or the other. The vast majority of people were just enjoying a high-stakes match of their favorite sport with others.
The room erupted as Belgium took an early lead in the 13th minute with an own goal from Fernandinho, and Brazil found itself trailing for the first time in the tournament.
Brazil, the favorite to win the tournament, had opportunities to score throughout the match. But when Kevin De Bruyner blasted a shot into the goal toward the far post in the 31st minute and gave Belgium a commanding lead, attendees jumped out of their seats and cheered.
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Even the Brazilian fans in the crowd gave De Bruyner a round of applause for the spectacular shot.
But, the Brazilians were determined to battle and come back to win the World Cup match after trailing by two goals for the first time in 80 years. The team had 26 shots, nine on goal, each of which brought larger and larger responses from the crowd as the match progressed.
The five-time champs broke through in the 76th minute giving a glimpse of hope to the team and a subsequent massive reaction from the crowd.
The last 15 minutes were filled with great anticipation as Brazil looked for the equalizer to stave off elimination.
Chance after chance jolted the room, but the largest response came when the as the Belgian goalkeeper capped off a remarkable performance with a diving save on the bending shot from superstar Neymar in the 94th minute. The save left nearly the entire room on its feet cheering and clapping.
Belgium was able to keep their lead and eliminated Brazil from the tournament.
“This is one of the things’ that ISO believes in, bringing in people with the same interest from all over the world,” Islam said. “This is one of the best ways for ISO to show how we work. We take common interests, and we bring in people together. It’s celebrating different culture. The World Cup is celebrating culture.”
ISO provided pizza and drinks for everyone to enjoy. Approximately 100 people were in attendance, according to Islam.
Typically, ISO holds its social events on Fridays. So it made sense to host a watch party for this event, Islam said.
The watch party was the second social event that ISO hosted this summer. The organization did not host any events last summer.
ISO is able to host events this summer because Islam is in Auburn, whereas last summer, the executive officers were elsewhere.
Islam was thrilled with how the event played out. She is not sure if it will be possible due to time limitations, but she would love to be able to host another watch party for the final match, Islam said.
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