There was cheering, screaming, clapping, howls of disgust and, in the end, a few tears, as well.
For the vast majority of the soccer-mad fans packed into Davood’s tiny bar/bistro in Steveston on Wednesday lunchtime, the whole gamut of emotions was run through.
We say “majority,” as all bar three were roaring on the “Three Lions” of England in their nail-biting World Cup semi-final against Croatia.
The solitary Croatian, Frenchman and Scotsman were conspicuous in their presence, yet largely anonymous when the late equalizing goal for Croatia — and it’s ultimate winner in extra time — went in.
Random people from the street were trying desperately to get into the packed café to see what all the fuss was about, as the match swung to and fro, much like the mood of the England fans.
In the end, it was a tale of ecstasy and yet more agony for the long-suffering fans of England, whose 52-year wait for World Cup glory continues.
“We will get it for sure and England won’t let the game go into penalty kicks,” said Steveston’s best-known Englishman Iain Mackelworth, owner of Steveston Barbers, before the game kicked off.
When the referee ended England’s hopes after 120 minutes of pulsating soccer, a disappointed Mackelworth said his team has played “brilliantly” in the first half, not so much in the second, before lambasting the referee as being “terrible.”
Despite usually supporting Germany, host Davood Khatami said he was more than happy to basically turn his bistro into the England fans’ headquarters in Steveston.
Khatami said he’s now sold out for space for Sunday morning’s World Cup Final, which will see England’s victors Croatia face off against favourites France.