Long after the end of a game marred by ugly confrontations and flying tackles on Friday night, Argentina fans were fervently singing and dancing at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Their team have just overcome a raging Dutch fightback, winning an engrossing and ill-tempered quarter-final clash on penalties.
It was a brutal World Cup knockout game that saw several yellow cards and even a brawl involving Argentina players and the Dutch reserves.
At the end of it, Argentina survived by the barest of margins to keep their hopes of winning their third World Cup alive.
Not just Argentina, even Lionel Messi’s dream of winning his first World Cup is alive after countless heartbreaks.
Heaving a huge sigh of relief after Lautaro Martinez scored from the decisive penalty kick, the Argentina fans kept beating the drums and singing the same song around the Lusail Stadium that they have been singing almost for a month now in Qatar.
The song, Muchachos, Ahora Nos Volvimos a Ilusionar, talks about how Argentina is the land of Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, how they beat Brazil in Rio de Janeiro at the Copa America last year and how they are now dreaming of winning their third World Cup in Qatar.
Among the thousands of spectators singing that song long after the final whistle at the Lusail Iconic Stadium was Romina, a mother of one-year-old girl named Filipa.
With Filipa in her arms, Romina kept singing Muchachos, Ahora Nos Volvimos a Ilusionar as a crowd of singing Argentinian fans passed her by.
“It was a very difficult match. I am obviously very, very happy and relieved now,” Romina told this reporter.
“I am incredibly happy because I was also at this stadium when we lost to Saudi Arabia in the first match. That was a big setback. Now to come back and reach the semifinals, it feels just amazing.”
In a remarkable coincidence, this reporter had also bumped into Romina and her daughter at the same stadium after Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in their opening match.
Filipa was draped in Argentina’s blue and white stripes for that first match on November 22.
On Friday night, the toddler was in Argentina’s away jersey which has shades of purple.
“In Argentina, kids always have the national team’s jersey as their first gift,” Romina said.
“These are her first gifts and this is her first World Cup. I am just so happy that she is experiencing these moments with Argentina and our amazing fans!”
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