If you have ever watched a World Cup game or World Cup qualifier game in New York City or Jersey involving Peru and Colombia, you may have noticed something: there are a lot of soccer fans for those teams. Be it Jackson Heights, Queens, or Dover and Paterson, New Jersey, they all have a Latino presence on any given day, but when soccer is being played, it simply goes to another level.
Now put Colombia vs. Peru on the same field in a stadium in Harrison, New Jersey, and a new community is formed instantly.
On October 7, less than one month from today and yesterday’s friendly between Colombia and Peru, both teams will be opening their competition in the CONMEBOL 2018 World Cup qualifiers. It seems that Peruvian and Colombian officials wanted to give their teams’ U.S.-based fans a taste of how the South American qualifiers will play out, as they programmed the friendly match less than a month before the official one.
There may have only been a few goals in the match that ended 1-1, but there sure was a great atmosphere in the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. Thousands of fans from New Jersey and New York City went to the stadium to support their team.
Colombian player Carlos Bacca celebrated his 29th birthday by opening the score.
Meanwhile, Peruvian striker Jefferson “La Foquita” Farfán sealed it with a penalty kick.
It’s not clear whether soccer players from European leagues took advantage of Little Colombia and Little Peru, but with so many culinary options in the area, hopefully they didn’t miss out.