On Wednesday, March 14, 2018, football fans in Port Harcourt and Lagos were once again treated to a night of drama and thrilling football action at Sok Bar and Lounge, GRA, Port Harcourt and Ember Creek, V.I, Lagos. Both venues were transformed into premium Heineken UCL viewing centres for the simultaneous broadcast of UEFA Champions League matches between Barcelona and Chelsea FC, and Besiktas vs Bayern Munich.
The Barcelona vs Chelsea match has been one of the most anticipated and mouth-watering clashes of this season’s Champions League round of 16. Due to the prevalence of Chelsea and Barcelona fans in Nigeria, both viewing centres were already filled with excited fans a full one hour before kick-off. The visibly excited fans of the two teams, both past winners of the UCL title, trooped to the Heineken viewing centres to watch their favourite teams vie for a coveted spot in the Champions League quarter finals.
As is usual tradition at all Heineken UCL Match Experience Centres, the night began with guests playing video games and table soccer ahead of kickoff. Others gathered in groups at various parts of the classy venue, chatting over cold glasses of Heineken and discussing their expectations for the night.
The drama of the night started few minutes before the match; Lionel Messi was seen nonchalantly practicing a free-kick into the top corner of the net for his warm-up while other players were pacing around the pitch. Little did many know that was a sign of things to come; that Chelsea was not going to have it easy during the match.
At about two minutes, eight seconds into the match, Barcelona star, Messi scored the first goal of the match. It was the fastest goal of the Argentine’s career. Disappointment was seen all over Chelsea fans at the Heineken Experience Center in Lagos.
Despite Chelsea‘s effort of matching the Spanish team on the field of play, there seemed to be nothing to show for it. At exactly 20 minutes into the first half, Dembele scored his first goal for Barcelona. The first half ended 2:0 in favor of Barcelona.
The dramatic first half was followed by another round of games and quizzes anchored by the compere at the Heineken Experience centre who spent time teasing fans of one team and the other.
Coming off a scintillating first half, Messi scored yet another goal in the 63rd minute, puting the Spaniards squarely in the UEFA Champions League Quarter finals.
The game ended with a 3 – 0 score (Aggregate score of 4 1). While Bayern Munich mauled their way through their game against Turkish juggernauts, Besiktas. Bayern sailed to the Quarterfinals with an impressive aggregate score of 8 – 1.
The stage is now set and the actors are all getting ready, as the Quarter Finals of the 2017/2018 UCL becomes the next scene in the ultimate football drama. Soccer fans in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt can look forward to experiencing more of the drama of UEFA Champions League as Heineken will continue hosting fans in these cities throughout the 2017/2018 Champions League season.