Fans turn out for Brazil vs. Colombia in final COPA America match at Levi's Stadium

Fans turned out in force at Santa Clara's Levi's Stadium for Tuesday night’s face off between the national teams of Brazil and Colombia in the COPA America tournament.  Fan enthusiasm – especially on behalf of Colombia – has been incredibly high here through the afternoon.

Juan Cardona is from Colombia but came from his hometown in Florida to attend the game. "I feel like home right now. I am from Colombia, this is my family, so that’s it," Cardona said, to cheers of "Colombia, Colombia" from fellow fans.  When it comes to soccer – or football as it is called everywhere else around the world – fans say it is hard to explain the sense of national pride. "When it is international you go for your country, you fight for your country," Cardona said. 

Grace Nanez came to the match from Walnut Creek.  "I am Colombian, and we are going to win!," Nanez said. 

Brazil is one of the world’s powerhouses in soccer and draws fans like Marwan Omar and is son who are from Stockton. "I need to support Vinicius, Real Madrid, all them players.  So we got to go Brazil, you know," Omar said.  Another fan, Catalina Romero from Redwood City, said: "I have always gone for Brazil, no matter what," Romero said. 

Santa Clara police are on hand to watch over it all. Roadway closures and traffic controls started early on Friday and fan behavior both before and especially after the match will be closely monitored. "We are looking for the fans to enjoy themselves but we also want them to be respectful, drink responsibly, stay hydrated obviously, and when people are out here and they see something brewing – or of a criminal nature -- we want them to be able to reach out," said Lt. Mike Crescini with the Santa Clara Police Department.

 One of the challenges for fans driving to game on Tuesday was  that huge green lot – which is normally open for 49ers games – is not open today because Great America was also open and the lot was not available for Levi’s Stadium parking.