WORLD CUP 2018

From Russia with love

About 50 fans at the Darlingbar in Moscow watching Russia play Egypt. The locals demonstrate their patriotism by bringing flags, standing to attention during their national anthem and shouting "Nujen gol!" (Russian for: We need a goal.); the celebrat
About 50 fans at the Darlingbar in Moscow watching Russia play Egypt. The locals demonstrate their patriotism by bringing flags, standing to attention during their national anthem and shouting "Nujen gol!" (Russian for: We need a goal.); the celebrations spilling over into the streets following the 3-1 win.ST PHOTO: DAVID LEE
About 50 fans at the Darlingbar in Moscow watching Russia play Egypt. The locals demonstrate their patriotism by bringing flags, standing to attention during their national anthem and shouting "Nujen gol!" (Russian for: We need a goal.); the celebrat
About 50 fans at the Darlingbar in Moscow watching Russia play Egypt. The locals demonstrate their patriotism by bringing flags, standing to attention during their national anthem and shouting "Nujen gol!" (Russian for: We need a goal.); the celebrations spilling over into the streets following the 3-1 win.ST PHOTO: DAVID LEE

A bar, beer and a ball. From Moscow to Melbourne, this is one of the most universal images of football. The Straits Times' man in Russia, David Lee, tells us what it's like to watch a World Cup game with the hosts. Here is his account:

9pm: The crowd of about 50 are chilling, sipping Russian lager and eating grenki (black bread sticks) at the Darlingbar near the Paveletskaya metro station, but as soon as their national anthem rings out from the TV screens broadcasting their team's World Cup game against Egypt, they stand to attention and belt out a hair-raising rendition. In. A. Bar. Kick-off!

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2018, with the headline 'From Russia with love'. Print Edition | Subscribe