Mexican fiesta: Just like their compatriots out on the pitch, the Mexican fans in the stands gave their absolute all. Not only did the group of approximately 30 supporters act as additional coaches by giving tactical instructions, they also cheered their team on loudly from start to finish. With cries of “No paso nada” (nothing happened) and “Muy bien” (very good), the players’ families and friends were very much a 12th player for their team.
Once a footballer, always a footballer: When a loose ball flew out of play towards Simphiwe Dludlu’s coaching zone, the South Africa head coach wasted no time in showcasing her ability. She swiftly brought the ball down, much to the delight of an appreciative crowd, including Brazil’s fans, underlining that she has lost none of her talent since recently hanging up her boots.
U-17 Women’s World Cup fever: Uruguay’s last group match took place at the same time as the senior men’s team’s fixture against France in Paris. However, the attendance in Maldonado highlighted that the U-17 Women’s World Cup has won the hearts of the people in Uruguay, with supporters eager to turn up in person to support their youth team, despite the overlap with the men’s game. Perhaps one day the young girls who were at the stadium in Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan shirts might soon be wearing the jerseys with the names of their compatriots from the U-17s.
African solidarity: After their match against Brazil, the South African players stayed at the stadium to watch the day’s second game between Ghana and New Zealand. They cheered on the Ghanaians, urging them forward, and while one member of the coaching staff improvised a drum on the back of the seats, the South African team danced and sang throughout the match.