Russia World Cup Toronto Fans
2018,  Russia

Russia – 2018

My first venue to view the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Toronto was Red Square Restaurant. I was hoping to catch fans of the host nation celebrating both a win and the pride of being a host country. It was a bit of a disappointment. Despite winning 5-0, there were maybe a half-dozen people were there and none wearing any flags or jerseys and barely any cheering at all. I didn’t end up taking any photos and chalked it up again to difficulty finding passionate public Russian fans in Toronto, or something like that. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Lucky for me, this Russian team goes on to outperform any expectation by beating Spain in the first knockout round and make it to the quarter-finals! I make my way up to WEGZ stadium bar in Vaughan to see if I could find a few Russian fans… I think I found them all. This was the largest indoor party I found this year. This was deafening. This is Russia World Cup Toronto.

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans
I don’t think I was alone in thinking that this wasn’t going to be much of a game. Russia played well enough against a passive Spanish team, but Croatia has been a really dominant team this World Cup and I expected they were just overpower Russia. Nope. Didn’t happen. With a goal mid-way through the first half, Russia proved they belonged in that game and gave Croatia a fight until the very last penalty kick. It was an awesome game to be with such a massive, passionate and supportive crowd. WEGZ didn’t know what hit them. It was awesome.

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans
Date: July 7, 2018
Score of game: Russia 2, Croatia 2 (Croatia wins on penalties 3-4)
Location: WEGZ, 2601 Rutherford Rd, Vaughan, ON
Estimated number of fans at location: 300

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans
This was when Russia scored their second goal late in the second-half of overtime. It was insane.
Russia World Cup Toronto Fans

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans
Here are a few reactions to the penalty kicks. It was unfortunate that Russia was never really into it as their first shot was saved and were down 0-1 after the first round. Even with a Russia save after that, it wasn’t enough.

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans

Russia World Cup Toronto Fans

Bravo Russian fans for coming out to support your team in such a grand and beautiful fashion! It was such a joy to be a part of it, I even got my wife and son to come on out, making it all the more special. Luckily, they took off before all the mayhem of overtime’s second-half.

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