Fervid few show for Sweden’s Cup win

It was setting up to be a nice lunch break at Shanghai Kelly’s on Wednesday afternoon.

The bar was airy and clean, the drinks, er, Cokes were free, and the Sweden-Paraguay World Cup game was on the TV, which meant that, theoretically, there would be Swedish fans at this Nob Hill pub.

“It was a sea of yellow on Saturday [for Sweden’s first game],” said Fog, the bartender, referring to the Swedish jersey. “And Sweden definitely has the best-looking fans.”

But the problem was quantity, not quality, when the first whistle blew Wednesday, as there were just four fans in the bar.

“A bunch of people told me they’d be here for this game,” Minnesota native Kelly Bjorklund said. “I don’t know what’s going on.”

After waiting for a crowd and a goal, throughout a scoreless first half, the party shifted up the road to Shanghai’s sister bar, The North Star, in North Beach.

It was hard to vouch for the attractiveness of many of the Swedish partisan patrons at the North Star, as their faces were distorted with frustration for much of the game as Sweden squandered scoring chance after scoring chance. Finally, in the 88th minute, Freddie Ljunberg knocked in a header to give Sweden a 1-0 win, provoking a bar stool to be flipped over and putting the team in great position to advance to the next round.

Sitting outside relaxing after the tense victory was Barish, a native of Gothenborg, Sweden, who now lives in Russian Hill.

“There’s a law in Sweden, kind of a law of humbleness,” he said, when asked to discuss his team’s chances. “But if we overcome that and get some confidence and cockiness, we’re a dangerous team.”

melliser@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Construction in the Better Market Street Project between Fifth and Eighth streets is expected to break ground in mid-2021.<ins></ins>
SFMTA board to vote on Better Market Street changes

Agency seeks to make up for slimmed-down plan with traffic safety improvements

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Currey (30) tallied 26 points and seven assists at Monday night’s game against the Lakers. (Chris Victorio for the S.F. Examiner).
Warriors overcome 19-point deficit to stun defending-champion Lakers 115-113

Ladies and gentlemen, the Golden State Warriors are officially back. Stephen Curry… Continue reading

U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks during an event to name President-elect Joe Biden’s economic team at the Queen Theater on Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS)
Kamala Harris to resign from Senate

Bridget Bowman CQ-Roll Call Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will resign from the… Continue reading

A view of Science Hall at the City College of San Francisco Ocean campus on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
CCSF begins search for next chancellor amid new challenges

‘It’s arguably the biggest single responsibility the board has,’ trustee says

Some people are concerned that University of California, San Francisco’s expansion at its Parnassus campus could cause an undesirable increase in the number of riders on Muni’s N-Judah line.<ins></ins>
Will UCSF’s $20 million pledge to SFMTA offset traffic woes?

An even more crowded N-Judah plus increased congestion ahead cause concern

Most Read