I do my best to photograph teams as early in the tournament as possible, ideally game one or two. With Egypt, despite heroic attempts to catch game two, I was left capturing fans for their third and final game. Considering it was a match between two teams already eliminated from the tournament, I didn’t think there would be much support for either team. I need not have worried. Whatever it is, national pride/love of the game/an excuse to commune with your peers, the World Cup brings people out to celebrate, even if the game doesn’t matter at all. This is Egypt World Cup Toronto.
Date: June 25, 2018
Score of game: Saudi Arabia 2, Egypt 1
Location: Celebration Square, Mississauga
Estimated number of fans at location: 30
This was my first time back to Celebration Square in Mississauga this World Cup, I had forgot how much a gem of a venue it is. I just love it.
Of course, one of my favourite aspects of the game was that the Egyptian goal keeper, Essam El Hadary, set a record for the oldest player in history to play in a World Cup match at the age of 45 years and 161 days. As I may or may not be turning 40 this week, I find this especially inspiring. Plus, he saved a penalty kick. That’s pretty kick-ass.
Nice moment witnessed, during half time, fans from Saudi Arabia and Egypt posed together from some photos and flags.
I can’t not mention my game two search for Egypt fans. It began in Scarborough where I had a false lead, but I ended up in Oakville at Anora’s Restaurant, the Egyptian spot I recommended at the beginning of the tournament. When I arrived, with about 20 minutes remaining in the match, I found out their TV was not working. The drive had taken me over and hour and I was pretty devastated. Luckily, the young woman behind the counter told me that everyone would be at Mood’s. It was 15 minutes away, so off I went. It was a good lead, one I wish I had a lot earlier. All the Egyptian fans were there, sure enough. Hundreds. Packed. Amazing venue. With only 5 minutes left in the game, their team down 3-1, and a manager who was not interested in having me take any photos, I was left watching the final minutes tick by with nothing by a memory and a regret.
That was the ultimate place to be. I was there, but I don’t have any photos to prove it.
This is Egypt World Cup in Toronto.