These are the first World Cup finals to take place in Africa and host South Africa will be celebrating the opening ceremony and Bafana Bafana’s first match against Mexico tonight at Alleycat’s Pizza Huashan, 1, Bade Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市八德路一段1號) Tel: (02) 2395-6006. The Liaison Office of South Africa will be on hand and is offering free pizza and beer to the first 50 fans who turn up wearing South Africa colors. The match will be shown on the big screen.
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Expect to find the Aussies and the Kiwis cheering on the Socceroos and the All Whites at the Brass Monkey, 166 Fuxing N Rd, Taipei City (台北市復興北路166號), tel: (02) 2547-5050. All the games will be broadcast with English commentary, and the Monkey has teamed up with Adidas to offer a free draw. Prizes include shirts and World Cup Jabulani balls.
Word is that the boys from Japanese expat soccer team JFC will be congregating at On Tap, 49, Ln 308, Guangfu S Rd, Taipei City (台北市光復南路308巷49號), tel: (02) 2741-5365, to watch the Samurai Blue’s progress over the next month. There’s a 100-inch screen upstairs and a newly installed screen downstairs. A deposit of NT$5,000 behind the bar will get you a season ticket and a guaranteed seat for all of your chosen team’s matches. Weather permitting, On Tap will also be hosting a seven-a-side World Cup soccer tournament all day on Wednesday at Yingfeng Sports Park, next to Dajia Riverside Park, off Bingjiang Street (迎風河濱運動公園靠近濱江街) in Taipei.
There are plenty of Americans around, but not that many interested in the beautiful game. Those that are, however, may wish to amble along to the Barry Room, Taipei Artist Village (台北國際藝術村百里廳), 7 Beiping E Rd, Taipei City (台北市北平東路7號), where the games will be shown on a giant projector screen. For the US’ three group games, Jack Daniels will be handing out a free shot every time the Stars and Stripes hit the back of the net. If you’d rather jog along to Tianmu, rumor has it some Americans will be making El Gallo, 42, Zhongshan N Rd Sec 7, Taipei City (台北市中山北路七段42號), tel: (02) 2874-1366, their base, at least for the opening match against England.
Word on the street is that Super Eagles fans will congregate at Carnegies, 100, Anhe Rd Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市安和路二段100號), tel: (02) 2325-4433, with its huge 240-inch and 150-inch screens. The management will be providing a late-night menu for those 2:30am games and various bottled beers will be NT$99 while the matches are in progress.
Swiss fans will be found at the Swiss-owned FIFA-approved Tavern Premier 415, Xinyi Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市信義路四段415號), tel: (02) 8780-0892. Games involving both the Schweizer Nati and Germany will be broadcast in German in designated areas of the bar, while Japan’s matches will be broadcast with Japanese commentary. The kitchen will remain open for all the games and smokers will be glad to know the garden also has a big screen and seating for 80. The bar with the largest number of plasma screens and projectors in Taiwan, this place is likely to get busy, so it’s best to book in advance.
Germans will be making Tianmu their base for their next assault on the title, with Wendel’s, 5 Dexing W Rd, Taipei City (台北市德行西路5號), tel: (02) 2831-4592, their venue of choice for the group games. Wendel’s has devised a special snack menu for game nights. Those who don’t want to make the trek to Tianmu will be likely heading to either the Brass Monkey or the Tavern Premier.