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World Cup brings UM exchange students together

By Brad Peers, KECI Sports, bpeers@keci.com
Published On: Jun 17 2014 06:53:05 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

University of Montana students from all over the world gathered together to watch World Cup soccer action Tuesday afternoon at the International House on the UM Campus in Missoula.

The spectators watching Tuesday afternoon's big match-up between Mexico and the host-team Brazil say events like this are about more than watching a sport, it's also a great way to meet and interact with people from other countries.

Around 20 UM students were engaged at the watch party, including international exchange students from both Mexico and Brazil.  Although the result of Tuesday's match was a scoreless draw between Brazil and Mexico, everyone found something enjoyable about watching the World Cup together.

"This is a great opportunity," said UM student and Brazil native Mirian Celly.  "We can meet new friends, we can cheer together and yeah, in the finish whoever wins, will win.

"To me it's the biggest sport in the world you know, no matter what," said UM student Efren Duarte, who is from Mexico.  "It brings families together, it brings friends together.  Even though we're friends, when it comes to futbol we're rooting against each other and yelling at each other. But at the end of the day we're still friends.

"It's just this kind of interesting dynamic of being in the room and having Brazilian and Mexican students here and seeing them kind of putting their heart and soul into this," said UM's international Pastor Kevin Nalty.  "They're all friends; but some things, and in this case soccer, transcends friendship to many of them."

Mexico and Brazil will both be back in action on Monday, June 23rd.