Colour and zest - it was what Sochi had been missing since the Confederations Cup kicked off over the weekend and the fans of Mexico brought it in abundance on Wednesday ahead of their game with New Zealand.
El Tri supporters were to be seen around the city centre as happy locals grabbed opportunities to make photos with them.
Unlike the first game in Sochi between Australia and Germany where it was difficult to find their fans, the Mexicans invaded Sochi in large number and it was great to finally get a feel that an international football competition the size of the Confederations Cup was taking place in this city.
I saw a quintet of Mexican fans from the balcony of my Brevis Apartments room and hailed them, "Andale Mexico!" to which they responded "Arriba Arriba!" as I wished them good luck for the game.
And truly, El Tri came from behind to defeat New Zealand 2-1 as they secured four points to tie with Portugal on top of Group A.
Earlier in the day, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a smashing header past Igor Akinfeev to lead the European champions past the hosts 1-0.
Locals were quiet as we watched Russia lose 0-1 to Portugal in Dobry El, one of #Sochi's main sports bars today. #RUSPOR #ConfedCup2017 pic.twitter.com/J8Giwdexbt — Lolade Adewuyi (@Jololade) June 21, 2017
I watched the game at popular sports bar Dobriy El with a newly-wed couple who are looking forward to their honeymoon in Thailand next weekend. Unfortunately, the Russian team did not give my new-found friends an opportunity to cheer. Afterwards, I spoke to national television station Россия about my thoughts on the game and the city of Sochi.
While in the city centre, later on, I met a couple of kids who went around hunting for pictures with foreigners. It was their way of celebrating the influx of guests that the Confederations Cup brought to town.
I am glad that the Mexicans came to Sochi because it was good for the mood in an otherwise quiet city where the tournament had hardly kicked into fast gear.
One hopes that the Cameroonians would bring some vibe into town for Sunday's clash with Germany.
Lolade Adewuyi attends the Russian International Olympic University, Sochi. Follow his blog about the local experience in Sochi for Goal Africa during the 2017 Confederations Cup.
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