The game had not yet started and already, the Conca d’Oro café on rue Dante, in Little Italy, was full. One hundred and twenty minutes and a penalty shootout later, crowds of fans filled the streets with joy, celebrating Argentina’s victory in the World Cup.
“It was not a match for the heart,” summed up Mario, the bistro’s cook, visibly moved. “But I said it, our guardian [Emiliano] Martínez, he likes penalties, he is going to block two balls”, he exclaimed.
The duel between Argentina and France, in fact, has reserved its share of surprises for Montreal fans crowded around a television set outside, despite the -1 temperature. ohC and the impressive snow banks left by the storm the day before.
The drums were heard inside and, at 24me minute, in a penalty shot, Lionel Messi’s goal unleashed the crowd. “Vamos Argentina”, intoned the fans, packed like sardines, outside and inside.
“It’s the reward, it’s the justice of football,” exclaimed a Tunisian fan who came to cheer on the Argentines after having traveled to Qatar himself to support his team.
Then it was 2-0. Mexicans, Uruguayans, Chileans, all the South American nations seemed gathered in Little Italy to cheer on the Albiceleste. “We feel at home,” says Rocío Díaz, an Argentine, who has come to watch all of her team’s matches at the café on rue Dante since the start of the World Cup.
The French then leveled the score in less than a minute. The crowd parked outside the Conca d’Oro cafe was stunned. “It’s the stress,” one supporter testified.
After an incredible extension, it was finally at the end of a penalty shootout, won by Argentina, that the outcome of the match was sealed.
“We needed to suffer to win,” summed up a fan, Manuel, while the fans invaded the street, forcing the closure of rue Dante, between avenues de Gaspé and Casgrain.
“It’s always difficult for us, but in the end it works out! And there we have it, ”Ivan rejoiced next to him.
A heartbreaking defeat for France
On the French side, the faces lengthened in the Monsieur Ricard bar, on avenue du Parc, as Press, at halftime. Even though the place was packed with people, the atmosphere had dropped a bit.
“It’s not too late, we can still go back,” insisted Rayan Gandjy, a visibly unconvinced French supporter.
“Hopefully so, but it won’t be easy. The Argentines dominate, but they play a bit as a bonus, ”said Michel Borys while he expressed his reproach against the refereeing of the match. “The first penalty was a bit exaggerated. »
Although there was still half the game to play, some were already taking stock. “You’ve been playing for at least seven games,” one of them sighed to the owner of the premises, Rocco, who was watching the customers who went out to smoke.
Then, a few tens of minutes later, after another goal from Kylian Mbappé, the second in a minute, the atmosphere returned. “It’s unbelievable, we thought it was all over. [Maintenant] the Argentines are afraid of losing”, said Martin Fink, carried away by the “impetus” of his team.
Then the disagreement was total when Lionel Messi scored his second goal, this time in extra time. It was 3-2 with minutes to go. Despite a third goal scored by Kylian Mbappé, France will lose, a few minutes later, the chance to win a second successive World Cup title.
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