Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Suds Flow Here for German Soccer Fans Argentine Faithful Gather, as Well

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Suds Flow Here for German Soccer Fans Argentine Faithful Gather, as Well

Article excerpt

On Sunday, Matthias Schwab longed for home.

There, he imagined, the sound of honking cars filled the air. The streets were festooned with black, red and gold, he wagered, and fans were hoarse from shouting "Deutschland, oh-ho."

But Mr. Schwab, 25, didn't miss out on national revelry altogether. Transplanted from Munich to Pittsburgh to work on his master's thesis in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, he sat on the edge of his pub stool in the Hofbrauhaus, the old- style German beer hall on the South Side, and watched the German national soccer team clinch the world championship with a 1-0 overtime victory against Argentina in Rio de Janeiro.

"I wish to be in Germany right now," Mr. Schwab said as he left the Hofbrauhaus, which had to turn away fans due to overcapacity. "I bet they are going crazy."

It is Germany's fourth World Cup title, secured after 113 goal- less minutes against Argentina. Substitute midfielder Mario Goetze broke the stalemate with a volley kick from short range, eliciting roaring cheers from inside the Hofbrauhaus and across the street at Claddagh Irish Pub, which did a similarly brisk business during the World Cup final.

Germany's team play and precision passing won them the game, said Alex Cheung, 22, of Irwin. Unlike Argentina's squad -- whose rallying cry is the skill of its captain, Lionel Messi -- Germany didn't rely on a single star, he added.

The example of Mr. Messi is what inspired Alex Ahwari, 11, to split with his family, all Germany fans, and root for Argentina. "Young players see Messi and that's it for them," said his father, David Ahwari, who had come with his family from Chicago to Pittsburgh to visit his brother-in-law, who is of German descent.

Alex would have been in better company across town at Patron Mexican Grill in East Liberty, where a throng of Argentina fans had gathered under a single banner: "Keep the World Cup in South America," as Monica Ranii described their sentiment.

Ms. Ranii, 55, is a chef and owner of La Mendocina, an Argentine catering company she adapted from the restaurant her father founded in 1984 when he came to Pittsburgh from Mendoza, Argentina. …

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