The opening game

IMG_7848I have barely had time to think today.

This is not necessarily been a bad thing, though.

It was another relaxed day away from The Homeless Goal project, but there was plenty of walking and usage of public transport.

As I mentioned on the blog yesterday, it is the opening weekend of the Chilean Primera Apertura season – and I was attending a game.

The game I watched was between Universidad de Chile and Club Social de Deportes Rangers.

Universidad de Chile were at ‘home’, although they do not have their own stadium.

IMG_7875For this match they used Unión Española’s ground, but I had to get my ticket from the Chilean national stadium in the early afternoon.

The grounds are at either end of Santiago, which does not help.

I went with Daniel – a supporter of Universidad de Chile – who has a season card.

Whilst at the national stadium, I decided to get some footage for the project – I never know when I might need it!

Before going to the match, however, we met up with John Lyons – former writer for The Non-League Paper in England.

John was not coming to the football with us.

DSC_0826Instead, we met John at a local rugby match.

It was interesting to see how different rugby was over in a country that is not a renowned rugby nation.

The home side was actually a team of players from local French schools – this made sense.

Unfortunately, we could only watch the first half.

I say unfortunately, because I was starting to get a bit involved.

The home side were dominant and had a decent lead at half time, so I cannot imagine that I missed an amazing comeback.

Then it was the turn of the opening Apertura game for Universidad de Chile and C.S.D. Rangers.

It was a fairly long trek on the Metro from the rugby to the football, but it was not too bad.

The atmosphere started to build on the train as we got closer to the ground.

There was a lot of security and police at the stadium.

I had to have my UK driving licence checked and certified, before being search numerous times.

All in the name of security, health and safety – I suppose.

I will not do a match report as this is not the place to do one.

DSC_0855However, to sum up the game, it was a proper ‘smash and grab’ scenario.

C.S.D. Rangers were the underdogs and Universidad de Chile had run them ragged for the whole game.

In fact, in the second half, C.S.D. Rangers did not even contemplate attacking.

They were focused on getting the 0-0 draw.

So, it was not too much of a surprise when C.S.D. Rangers scored the only goal of the game with four minutes of normal time remaining.

The locals did not enjoy the result, but I left satisfied with my experience of Chilean football.

Despite struggling lately, Universidad de Chile are a top Chilean team.

On today’s performance, though, they would not cut it in the English Premier League.

Dare I say it, I reckon Watford would give them a very competitive game on their day.

Tomorrow is a very big day for The Homeless Goal project.

I will be going to the grand finals of the Fútbol Calle national tour, where I will meet Angela Gonzalez again.

Of course, you will find out how the day goes by following @TheHomelessGoal and reading this blog.

¡Chau!

Kyle Waller

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