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Ecuadorian football match: Emelec vs. Liga de Quito


I have always wanted to go to a football match in Latin America. This might seem strange considering that although I've loved playing football whenever I've had the opportunity, I have never been much of a football watcher. I've only ever been to one professional football match in the UK, when I was at university in Swansea (Swansea City vs. Blackpool; Swansea won 3-2) and although I love watching international matches, I've never really supported any particular club. I like to see Arsenal, Manchester United and Swansea do well when I check the football results online, but I cannot in any way be described as a 'real' supporter. Yet football matches in Latin America have such a reputation for flair and for passionate support that I've always wanted to go to one just to experience it first hand.

With this in mind, when I had the opportunity to go to a match today I simply could not let it pass. The match was Emelec vs. Liga de Quito; Emelec is one of the two big teams in Guayaquil (the other is called Barcelona) and is named after a former Ecuadorian electrical company called Empresa Eléctrica del Ecuador. It's extremely popular not only in Guayaquil but in the country as a whole. Currently Emelec is at or near the top of the Ecuadorian Serie A, the top professional league in Ecuador; Liga de Quito is further down the table.

The match certainly was an experience and a half! I went with some colleagues and an Ecuadorian friend of ours, 'G', who had got the tickets for us in advance. Only $8 for a terrace ticket, the cheapest kind. The match was at home in Guayaquil so we didn't have to go far; we got the Metrovia bus rather than one of the standard Selectivo buses which stop anywhere people want within the set route (Metrovia buses stop only at set stops and go on different routes to Selectivos). That was the first time I'd ever needed to use a Metrovia bus.

The stadium is pretty small and had a lot of street vendors outside it selling things like bags of water, grilled plantains and meat skewers. As an aside, I still find the sight of liquids being sold in bags quite funny, even after nearly a year... milk, yoghurt, cream, oil, vinegar - these are sold alongside bottles of the same things in supermarkets and smaller shops. I'm surprised I haven't yet seen a punctured one.

We entered through a tiny side door and found a place on the terrace, which was a series of concrete steps for people sit/stand on. Vendors walked past constantly with soft drinks, bags of peanuts, Emelec flags and so on. There was a wire fence around the pitch and netting attached between the top of the fence and the top of the roof over the stadium seating/terraces - to prevent things being thrown onto the pitch, I assume.


The standard of football was good, quite pacy and exciting; Emelec won 3-0 and you should have seen the reaction when each goal was scored. Some people climbed up the wire fence in celebration; the volume of the band and of the fans' singing and chanting, which was already loud, exploded; everybody who wasn't already standing up jumped to their feet; massive flags were waved behind each goal. Other flags were waved all the way through the match.


The atmosphere was great all the way through, just like I had hoped it would - very passionate but without any violence or other trouble.

Posted by 3Traveller 02:37 Archived in Ecuador Tagged football buses ecuador guayaquil

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