Chastened to say we had never been to the community before despite it being so close; the mall was your sanitized Mexican-American suburban experience, mom and pop stores interspersed with major chains.
Several thousand were in attendance for the game, a crowd that grew increasingly quiet after Mexico fell behind.
A surprising South African team kept Mexico off balance and the crowd nervous until the equalizer; a far from convincing performance from a fortunate Mexico and a beautifully worked opening goal from South Africa.
But both sides looked far better than the opposing teams in the largely impotent 0-0 Uruguay-France encounter that followed.
We saw that game at Hennessey’s Tavern in Hermosa Beach just steps from the sand across The Strand. Nice mellow low-key SoCal beach vibe; too bad the game was a little too laid back as well.
A walk down the pier was an excellent way to end the first day of the World Cup in Southern California.