The Full 90

Scenes from a watch party, Part 1

The crowd of nearly 50 at Bella Napoli in Brookside twice expressed its opinion rather loudly during Italy’s 1-1 tie with Paraguay on Monday.

You probably can guess when the fans cheered and when there was a huge groan.

Most of us were jammed into Bella Napoli’s coffee bar with eyes glued on the TV in the corner. But the crowd spilled well out into the store, the sidewalk and even into the restaurant.

“I don’t like listening to the game on TV,” said one fan, “because of the horns. It sounds like a torture chamber.”

The fans, which included a large segment of St. Louis Athletica youth players in town for the Missouri Youth Soccer Association tournament, felt like they were being tortured for quiet a while as Italy did its best to break down Paraguay’s defenses.Still, at halftime Paraguay held a 1-0 lead thanks to a beautiful goal.

“Usually Italy plays not so well and they still win,” Giorgio Antongirolami said at halftime, “but today they are playing well and losing.”

As if often the case, fortune smiled on Italy in the second half. A ghastly mistake by Paraguay’s goalkeeper was pounced on by Daniele De Rossi on a corner kick and cheers erupted as Italy came away with the tie.

Anyone have thoughts on how Italy looked?