FIFA doesn’t disappoint on opening weekend in the Glebe
It seemed like everybody at Lansdowne Stadium was hoping for at least one Ivory Coast goal Sunday during the FIFA Women’s World Cup – even the German fans.
It didn’t happen, and the top-ranked Germans racked up a whopping 10 goals to Ivory Coast’s zero. But that didn’t stop the droves of Ivory Coast fans from celebrating in the stands.
Armed with hand drums and clad in cape-fashioned flags, the thousands of screaming footy fans collectively roared when the girls in green got even a look at the net, let alone a shot on goal.
The entire place nearly erupted several times as Ivory Coast inched closer and closer to scoring a lone goal on the #1 German team. But goaltender Nadine Angerer was perfect in the opening campaign. The game also saw the fastest hat trick ever recorded at a FIFA Women’s World Cup Game, as Celia Sasic netted three goals by the 31st minute.
It may have been a lopsided score, but if you peered around beyond the field to the 20,000 some faces packed into Lansdowne Stadium, there wasn’t a frown in sight.
Soccer fans from all walks of life were jumping out of their seats with every offensive rush, and when a defender stopped the attack, the collective roar of the crowd seem to carry on through to the next play. There were young kids dressed up in Germany and Côte d’Ivoire T-shirts – most of them eating candy by the handful and quickly turning their attention back to the game when the crowd flared up again.
The energy inside Lansdowne Stadium for Sunday’s opening matches was electric, to say the least. The beer was flowing like Gatorade, there was a constant waft of popcorn and the place nearly ran out of poutine. It didn’t matter who was playing, or what the score was for many fans – most were just jaw-dropped as they watched the top-ranked FIFA team Germany play keep away with Côte d’Ivoire.
And things were just as alive outside the stadium as they were in the prime seats. Lansdowne was buzzing all day long with jammed patios before and after games. Bank Street shops were busy all day and the influx of pedestrian traffic brought the neighbourhood to life on a Sunday afternoon.
“Sunday was a historic day for the Glebe and all of Ottawa. It was a day that featured some of the best female soccer players in the World, showing off their skills right here at the new Lansdowne,” says Glebe BIA Executive Director Andrew Peck.
“The new beautiful stadium is the perfect venue for this, and many world-class events to come. There is not a bad seat in the house. Soccer fans in Ottawa got to see not one, but two highly ranked football matches right here in the Glebe. It’s a great way to kick off summer and what will surely be a fantastic tournament.”
The early game was also full of goals, as Norway blanked Thailand 4-0. Those who weren’t in the stadium didn’t have to be there to know there when there was action happening. The unified roar echoed throughout the Glebe every time there was a chance on net, but that echo erupted into carrying screams and hoots when the ball slid into the net.
There are still seven more FIFA matches to be held in Ottawa, including an exciting match this Thursday with Germany testing their skills against the also-unbeaten Norway. Kickoff is at 4 p.m.
Thursday’s doubleheader will finish with the other two Group B teams, Ivory Coast vs. Thailand at 7 p.m. Get your tickets here.