Portuguese pride trumps parade for some fans

There were drag queens dancing on floats and guys in various stages of dress and undress in the middle of Market Street on Sunday, all part of the pageantry of the 36th Annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade and Celebration.

But the only men that mattered to the patrons of the Grubstake during the pinnacle of Pride week were the ones on the television wearing Portugal soccer jerseys.

La Seleccao took on the Netherlands at noon in the knockout round of the World Cup, leading about 15 fans to bypass the downtown revelry for some tense soccer watching at this Portuguese restaurant in Nob Hill.

“We didn’t even see the parade,” said Rita, a Porto native now studying at Stanford. “That’s what we came up to The City for, but we had to redefine our priorities.”

Rita came up from Palo Alto with three other students from Portugal, and said they went to the Grubstake because “it’s the only Portuguese place we know in the area.” And indeed, there’s a very Iberian feel to the establishment, with Portuguese flags, banners and jerseys covering the red and green walls. Portuguese fans were scattered about at tables and the bar, and the anxiety level was high during an extremely physical match.

Four red cards — a World Cup record — and 16 cautions were handed out.

“We were joking that our players are just too violent,” said Pedro, also from Porto.

Portugal took the lead early on a goal by Maniche, but played a man down for most of the second half due to ejections and had to withstand a number of Dutch attacks. Several supporters were screaming at the TV every time Holland created a scoring chance, and conversations in Portuguese seemed to express unease.

But Portugal held on until the final whistle, setting off a relieved round of applause after the 1-0 win.

“We were very nervous during the whole game,” said Madeira Island native Daniel, another Stanford student. “But we’ve beaten the Dutch most of the time when we’ve played them, so I’m not surprised we won. Now I think we can go all the way to the final.”

The Portuguese will play England next in the quarterfinals Saturday at 8 a.m.

melliser@examiner.com

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