Sweden watched in disbelief as Senegal eliminated their team from the World Cup on Sunday with a golden goal that abruptly silenced hordes of cheering fans across the country.
At a sports bar in Stockholm — one of the few animated places in the rain-filled city — supporters chanted “Kom igen Sverige!” (“Come on Sweden”) until they were hoarse as they watched the action on television from the Japanese city of Oita.
But all that changed 14 minutes into extra time of a pulsating and open game as Senegal’s Henri Camara pounced, bagging only the second golden goal in World Cup history and instantly securing the African team a 2-1 victory.
The bar suddenly fell deadly silent. Within two minutes it was practically empty.
“I didn’t think they could play so well. We were really neck and neck. It’s such a shame,” Peter, a telecoms engineer wearing a bobble hat in the Swedish team’s blue and gold, told AFP.
“Their goalie’s bloody good,” ruefully conceded Anna, referring to Senegal’s goalkeeper Tony Sylva.
Tension in the bar mounted palpably during the second half, when the score was 1-1 and a sustained bout of attacks and counter-attacks failed to produce a breakthrough for either side.
The hundred or so fans dressed in their team’s blue and gold stripes gazed transfixed at the television screen, beers in hand.
“They should have brought him on earlier. It’s players like him who score goals,” exploded frustrated solicitor Magnus.