Over the next month, I'll be covering the World Cup for Tribalfootball. And along the way, I'd like to share with you some of my experiences and keep you up to date with all the action.
Last night was a special experience being in Moscow, despite Russia's loss to Croatia. I positioned myself in the heart of the city, prepared for a repeat of the wild scenes I'd seen the previous week. Off I went to Nikolskaya Street, thinking it's close proximity to the the Red Square was the place to be.
There was only one problem: a lack of televisions. Ironic given they helped invent the thing. Rather than be deterred, locals used their ingenuity to make sure they didn't miss the action. Walking up and down the street seeing complete strangers intimately huddled around to watch a phone, laptop or tablet. I'm not sure if I was more impressed or a man doing some impressive multi-tasking with a pram. The spontaneous roars down the street when Russia scored the opening goal caused excitement and confusion. People just rushed to the nearest phone they could find and then went berserk once they saw Cheryshev's stunning strike.
I managed to hurry off to a nearby pub to watch the second half, extra-time and penalties. As you could imagine it was mayhem inside. I lost count of how many times I heard the chant RO-SSSSS-IYA. It's a shame it didn't end in victory, but instead of reacting angrily, everyone took the loss gracefully and saluted their heroes. There weren't any drunks, vandalism, or any trouble for that matter. It was another positive experience amongst a group of people who have continued to break down stereotypes during this tournament.