A 100-STRONG crowd comprising mainly Brazil supporters stayed up to the wee hours of the morning in Souled Out, Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, to watch the first match of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
In conjunction with the screening of the Brazil vs Croatia match, The Star launched its free Samba Fever special edition paper and distributed it to the football fans gathered at the venue.
The paper, which is available from now until July 14, can be collected from noon at selected 7-Eleven stores, petrol stations, major shopping complexes as well as colleges and universities within the Klang Valley and Penang.
Ten lucky winners of The Star- Sony World Cup contest each picked up a Sony Xperia Z Ultra smart- phone prize and FIFA World Cup merchandise during the prize-giving ceremony before the match.
One very lucky winner, Ho Kai Hong, 38, picked up the grand prize of an all-expense-paid trip to watch a quarter-final match live in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Ho, who will be bringing his wife along, said this was the first time he had won such a big prize and he hoped to see his favourite team Germany meet one of the Latin American giants.
Shortly after the broadcast of the opening ceremony in Sao Paolo concluded, patrons of the establishment were treated to a spectacular carnival-like show.
The artful Capoeira Camara Malaysia performed along with fanciful dancers So Gaya.
A fire-juggling act by members of the Souled Out staff turned up the heat and samba dancers from Brazil named Luciano and Marcella put on a sizzling performance.
Throughout the night, football fans participated in games and quizzes for the chance to win FIFA World Cup merchandise, World Cup Adidas Brazuca footballs, Sony World Cup goodie bags and Souled Out dining vouchers
As the game commenced, the eager crowd cheered with delight.
The most common sentiment from those present was that this year’s World Cup Finals would be the most competitive in a very long time.
Brazil supporters were stunned when their team conceded an own goal by Marcelo Vieira just 11 minutes into the match.
They recovered from the shock after Neymar Jr. equalised in the 29th minute.
After the half-time break, Brazil scored two goals courtesy of Neymar via a penalty and Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Jr. during injury time to clinch the match 3-1.
As the crowd dispersed, Brazilian Embassy trade officer Sangkar Bahadur Poudel shared that it was a good thing the employees at the embassy were allowed to start work at noon the day after each Brazilian match.
A Brazil supporter who did not wish to be named said it was worth coming out to watch the game even though he had to be in his office by 9am.