We enjoyed a really good start to the competition yesterday as we spent the day in the Portuguese district (just at the top of the South Lambeth Road) and in particular the wonderful cafe bar pictured here:
Most places in the area were either fully reserved, full or reluctant to let us English take up space of potential Portuguese support but the owner of the cafe was amazingly friendly. As well as rearranging lots of tables and chairs to accomodate us he also plied us with free tapas: olives, steak in a wine sauce and, best of all, 'Tripas à moda do Porto' (Tripe with white beans) - Tripe is a speciality of Porto and the colourful history of this dish can be found halfway down this page.
The first game was moderately dull and I may well have over-estimated the Czech's strength. The result was pretty harsh on the Swiss, especially compounded by the injury to Frei.
The cafe began to fill up towards the end of the first game, Sangria and Sagres flowing. The second game was excellent to watch, a lot more like a Premiership game. Turkey had their moments but lacked a cutting edge but Portugal were awesome. The touch and technique they all posess and the desire to attack were amazing to watch and they were deserved winners.
We had some qualms about how much the bill was going to be (ten of us had been eating and drinking for five hours) but it was remarkably cheap. As we walked down the South Lambeth Road to get the Stockwell tube the atmosphere was manic:
Beeping car horns, drums and lots of whistling and cheering - goodness knows what would happen if they actually won the competition.
Boa Sorte Portugal!