Argentina-Mexico World Cup match brings people together in Minnetonka restaurant

World Cup: Argentina vs Mexico
Fans erupt with joy after soccer superstar Messi scored a goal for Argentina during the group stage World Cup match between Argentina and Mexico on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. People gathered at DelSur Empanadas in Minnetonka, Minn., for a watch party.
Tim Evans for MPR News

More than 100 people filled the space at DelSur Empanadas Argentinas to watch the team most on hand supported win its match 2 to 0 against Mexico. But for many, the gathering at the Minnetonka restaurant was about more than a World Cup soccer game.

Fans wore team jerseys, hats, face paint and flags. The mostly Argentinian crowd erupted in cheers every time the team scored. But fans of Mexico loudly made their presence known.

“This has become a hub for the Argentinian community in the area. So that's why we're here to watch the game. And you know, have a little bit of the culture and see other people from my community and from my country. So it's awesome,” said Ezequiel Santa Maria, who backed Argentina. Santa Maria grew up watching the World Cup and was excited to view the game with his family and community members at DelSur. Even though he now lives in Minnesota, he says he’ll always remain loyal to Argentina’s team.

Rodolfo Trujillo is from Mexico and before the game expressed confidence his team would prevail. Trujillo said coming together with other Latinos to watch the game was what mattered most.

Grow the Future of Public Media

MPR News is Member supported public media. Show your support today, donate, and ensure access to local news and in-depth conversations for everyone.

“Obviously we love soccer, we love football. And even though here we are outnumbered completely, it's still a family friendly place,” Trujillo said. “It's a great place to come and hang around with people just like us.”

Naara Soares rooted for Argentina, wearing the country’s flag, standing in for the jersey she left there. For Soares, it was a way to celebrate traditions she misses.

“When you are far away from home and you find a place where you share the feelings with someone about the world cup and everyone is so passionate, that is the main thing.”

Nico Nikolov, co-owner of DelSur Empanadas, said he’s happy to create a space for community members to celebrate their favorite teams and cultural traditions.

“This is really emotional because we haven’t had a world cup with the restaurant open. It’s just amazing to see all the Argentinians coming and it’s just fun.”

DelSur will also host a watch party for Argentina vs. Poland on Nov. 30.