Everton 1 – West Ham 3 and River Plate 4 – San Martin 1
Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti, Buenos Aires
It is never easy choosing to not watch Everton and it never happens without good reason.
We were in Buenos Aires and I’d found somewhere I believed would be showing the Everton v West Ham game on the Sunday. Then out of the blue, we found ourselves with the chance to go and see River Plate play at home in their epic Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti on the Saturday. It isn’t easy to get tickets to either River Plate or Boca Juniors as the two biggest clubs in Argentina runn membership only ticket schemes. On top of that, Lindsay and me had never been to a football match together. It felt like it was meant to be, but Lindsay was saying she couldn’t handle two days of football in a row.
What a dilemma, what a choice. Either go to see one of the world’s most iconic football teams play in one of the world’s most iconic stadiums or go to watch Everton play in some pub in Buenos Aires. A tougher choice than you’d think, especially if you consider that this whole part of the blog is dedicated to my search to find such pubs around the world. Could I really turn my back on this potential chance at an early success? On the outside I was cursing Lindsay for me making me choose, but deep down I knew it was only fair. I also knew we’d likely be travelling on the Sunday too as we had a taxi, train, and ferry journey to take us from our place in La Boca to the Delta de Tigre where we were heading next.
In the end, what I’m assuming was sense prevailed. We took the tickets from the River member we’d been lucky enough to become mates with and I resigned myself to trying to catch the score in the Everton match whenever I could get Wi-Fi during trip north the next day. A finer choice I’ve never made. Sometimes, rather childishly, I think that if I can’t watch Everton play it might make us more likely to lose. Not this time though. This time a genuine footballing experience had prevented itself and I simply had to make he right decision. Plus Everton lost to fucking West Ham. Can you imagine passing up the chance to see one of the biggest teams from the other side of the world play so that you could see Everton get battered at home West Ham. Fuck that.
Oh yeah, I’ve been trying to keep it clean on this blog. I think I’ll succeed in the other sections, maybe not, I dunno. With Everton failing to win at home to Huddersfield though, showing promise against Wolves and Bournemouth only to come away with a disappointing point both times, and fucking losing at home to West Ham I now know that a bit of colour will find its way into these ramblings every now and then.
The game at La Monumental was everything we could have ever hoped for. The home team won 4-1 and the bands didn’t stop playing all match. It almost felt like the different bands were competing with each other to see who could get the stadium the most riled up when they were beating away at their drums. River looked good too. They were dangerous going forward and seemed stable at the back. They let themselves down though when they let a poor San Martin team put one past them though. We even got a penalty down our end, which River dispatched, but the true highlight was seeing a River Plate fan outside La Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires wearing an Everton. Yep, that actually happened. Is right Ramiro Funes Mori.
The next day though, Everton were a shambles, weren’t we! I actually caught about ten minutes of the match as we were waiting for the ferry in Tigre. We were 2-1 down and seemed to be pushing to get back into the game. The stream went down and before it came back one of the lads, Richard, told me on WhatsApp not to bother trying to get the match back and just go and meet his mum and dad who coincidentally were just pulling into Tigre. I tried to do both, but I only got to meet his mum and dad. Lucky really as all I missed was West Ham scoring a third at Goodison to take the game out of our reach. What the fuck was that all about Everton. Sort it out.