Thousands Attend World Cup Watch Party at AT&T Stadium

Thousands of people some painted in red, white and blue, waving flags and chanting "I Believe!" crowded into the air-conditioned home of the Dallas Cowboys Tuesday to watch the U.S. men's national soccer team take on Belgium in the World Cup.

Both parking and admission at AT&T Stadium in Arlington were free and that concession stands were open to offer discounted drinks and food.

"Normally I come here for football games, but it's nice to see soccer take over," said Aaron Gentry.

The stadium holds about 100,000 people, stadium officials said more than 20,000 people were in attendance Tuesday.

Some were die-hard soccer fans. Others were newcomers, spurred on by the rising tide of support for the national team in the world's biggest tournament.

With every game, the crowds swelled as die-hard soccer fans joined the newcomers. Suddenly, America looked like a soccer-crazed country, as people skipped work and gathered in big crowds and watched the game play out on giant screens.

Arlington was not the only place soccer fans watched the game for free. FC Dallas hosted a watch party at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Unfortunately, no matter where fans watched the game, they left without what they wanted: a win.

Fans watched nervously as the U.S. and Belgium played 90 scoreless minutes before Belgium scored twice in extra time.

The U.S. responded with a goal but couldn't tie the match to send it to penalty kicks. After 120 minutes of soccer, the Americans' World Cup was over. America, in the middle of its World Cup frenzy, got a reminder that soccer can be a cruel, cruel sport.

Tuesday's game was the fourth for the U.S. in Brazil as it tried to move deeper into the tournament. The U.S. hasn't advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals since 2002.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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