NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – World Cup fever is taking over New York City.
Fans rooting for Mexico filled the streets in Jackson Heights, Queens after the team earned a spot in the knock-out round by defeating Senegal.
But as CBS2’s Steve Overmyer reports, sometimes when you win, you lose. Thursday’s match between England and Belgium left fans on both sides rooting for a loss.
The winner has to go through powerhouse Brazil. The loser gets Switzerland or Sweden. That means both sides had to come to a tough realization: that losing would be winning.
“It’s not wanting to lose. But the road to the final, if we end up second, is going to be — I’m not going to say easier — but I think it would be better,” one fan said.
At BXL Café in Midtown, fans enjoyed the Belgian beer and wavered on the desired outcome.
“It’s losing the momentum and losing the energy and losing everything that’s building you up to getting to this point. You can’t afford to let that switch. It gets into your head… and then you’re going into the next game and you lose that game,” said another fan.
“We’re not masterminds, you know. You win, and that’s the point,” another fan added.
Ten blocks down is the Football Factory, home to England fans.
Both teams fielded their backups Thursday – not giving up, but not putting their best players on the pitch. It’s a principled strategy, Overmyer reported.
When Belgium scored, the English were still celebrating. Sometimes, even a loss can be a win.
England ultimately lost the game and will now face the lighter opponent and in addition, get an extra day of rest.