For Brazil soccer fans in S.F., win is samba time

Aline Moura smiled with relief as she stepped outside the Santo Cristo Hall, temporarily leaving the booming Samba dance party inside.

The Brazilian soccer team had just topped Croatia 1-0 in its first match of the 2006 World Cup, and Moura was one of about 100 Brazilian fans who were now celebrating inside and in the parking lot of this South San Francisco social center.

“If we had lost, there wouldn’t have been an after-party,” said Moura, a native of Goiania, Brazil, who now lives inSan Francisco.

A disc jockey got the early-arriving crowd going well before the first whistle, blasting Brazilian music above the noise of broadcasters discussing the game in Portuguese. Green and yellow streamers hung from the walls and ceiling, and many in the audience wore the national flag like a cape. At the bar, there was cold Brahma beer and traditional barbecue served on plastic plates with toothpicks for utensils.

“It’s always like this here when Brazil plays,” Goiania native Mendes Junior said. “There’s barbecue, beer, tons of people dancing the samba. It’s great.”

The crowd got on their feet and blasted fog horns and kazoos every time Brazil came close to scoring and exploded when Kaka curled in a left-footed shot for the only goal of the game in the 44th minute.

“I had goose bumps,” said Karina, of Mines, Brazil. “Usually, I watch the game by myself and scream, and today, we all screamed together.”

At halftime, the fans danced to the deafening samba, and the party showed no signs of slowing down 45 minutes after the game. And DJ KBLO, one of the organizers of the event, said this was tame for what he expects Sunday at 9 a.m., when Brazil takes on Australia.

“There should be 400 or 500 people here for that game,” he said.

meliser@examiner.com

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