BRAZIL BEAT: Impromptu viewing party in Recife

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In this June 24, 2014 photo, a supporter celebrates Costa Rica's classification at the end of the World Cup group D match against England, at the Mineirao Stadium, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday. Costa Rica finished first in what many considered the World Cup's toughest group after a dour 0-0 draw against England. The Central Americans face Greece in the knockout stage, in Recife, Sunday, June 29. (AP Photo/Bruno Magalhaes)

RECIFE, Brazil (AP) — A gas station in rural northeastern Brazil turned into an impromptu World Cup viewing party.

Fans headed to the match between Costa Rica and Greece had to leave early: Arena Pernambuco is more than 15 kilometers from the tourist beach of Boa Viagem. The trip can take a good hour-and-a-half on public transportation.

The problem is fans wanted to watch Sunday's early match between the Netherlands and Mexico, which determined the next opponent for the winner of the game in Recife. So many arrived early and walked a mile to the nearest highway to find a gas station with a 42-inch TV.

Quickly, some 200 people had gathered there— Mexicans, Brazilians, Costa Ricans, Dutch. Locals began grilling hot dogs and chicken for the fans, and the gas station closed service for cars and instead set out picnic tables for the foreign visitors.

— By Adriana Gomez Licon —



FORTALEZA, Brazil (AP) — As the shadows shifted across the Arena Castelao, sections of stands emptied and filled during Sunday's round of 16 match between the Netherlands and Mexico. With an early afternoon start on a hot, muggy day in northeastern Brazil, many fans abandoned their seats when the sun beat down on them in an otherwise full stadium.

Referee Pedro Proenca briefly halted play just after the 30-minute mark for a cooling break, allowing both teams to rehydrate.



SAO PAULO (AP) — With Sao Paulo gripped in World Cup fever, all sorts of people are adorned in yellow and green Brazil team gear. But dogs?

At Parque Trainon, dog owners appear to have imposed their loyalties on their four-legged friends. Dogs of all shapes and sizes have been spotted with Brazilian flags around their collars, capes over the shoulders, even hats wrapped around their floppy ears.

One canine, 4-year-old Nino, had a blue Brazil outfit wrapped around his small body. His owner said it was to protect against a rash. But she had no medical excuse for the baseball cap over his head. It was her son's idea of showing support after Brazil won a penalty shootout with Chile.

Nino's Sunday morning playmate, a 6-year-old mutt named Nina, had more straightforward attire: a plain yellow jumper featuring Neymar's No. 10.

"I think it's cute," said her owner, Luiza Jatoba, 54. "It's in honor of the World Cup. These days it's the only thing we think about."

— By Aron Heller —


Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Brazil during the 2014 World Cup. Follow AP journalists covering the World Cup on Twitter: