World Cup 2014. Greece 1 - Costa Rica 1 (3-5 on PKs)
29 June 2014, 4:00 pm. Athens Cafe, Astoria
Greece fans in Astoria were out in droves on Sunday in Astoria to see Ethniki take on Costa Rica in an octavos de final match not many envisioned happening at the start of the tournament.
The atmosphere around 30th Avenue was festive, with nearly every Greek cafe, restaurant, grocery store, and butcher shop packed with blue-clad fans draped in blue-white flags.
At Athens Cafe, the line wrapped around the block and fans jostled for sidewalk space to peer in and catch a glimpse of the action as frappés were nervously downed.
Greece fell behind after Brian Ruiz’s placement-not-power strike into the right corner in the 55th.
After a seemingly harsh red card to Oscar Duarte in the 66th, the Greece fans on 30th Avenue began to grow in their confidence and excitement as their players on the pitch attacked more than they did in the entire 2004 European Cup.
Their opening came at the death in regulation time, with Sokratis Papastathopoulos pursuing virtue with a last ditch 91st minute strike.
The fans in Astoria went wild and the entire Greek section of the borough was screaming its lungs out and found itself not only within a collective embrace, but on the cusp of something historic.
Alas, this was not too be, as the match went to penalty kicks and Costa Rica was flawless from the spot, hitting a perfect five for five and breaking so many Greek hearts in Queens.