BY MICHAEL LEICHNER
Wow. The atmosphere at our first game of the 2014 World Cup was one of the best. The Argentina fans had made their presence known in Rio for days, and it only amplified on game day.
The stadium was packed well before the game, and when we approached our seats, I thought we were in the Argentina supporter’s section. After sitting down, it was clear that Maracana was basically a huge Argentina party based on the colors and noise.
During the game, it was rarely quiet as the Argentina supporters were constantly singing. The local Brazilians spent most of the game jeering their rival’s star Lionel Messi and rooting for Bosnia-Herzegovina with the small but vocal underdog fans.
The opening goal was anticlimactic because it was so early and an own goal, but that didn’t dampen the spirit throughout. Messi’s goal in the second half broke open the game and unleashed a deafening roar. Our first Maracana experience did not disappoint apart from the lack of concessions.
We headed straight to the airport to fly to Natal for the U.S. opener vs. Ghana.