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article imageChile: 'Rescuers' defeat 'Miners' in friendly soccer game

By Igor I. Solar     Oct 25, 2010 in Sports
Following a ceremony at the presidential palace Team "Operation Rescue" (the government) and Team "Hope" (the miners) played a friendly soccer game at Chile’s National Stadium. The Rescuers won 3-2, but the Miners had the Most Valuable Player.
President Piñera and miner and former soccer player Franklin Lobos, scored for their respective teams in the game played this afternoon at Chile’s National Stadium in Santiago. The miners played with white shirts, each showing on his back the number of the order in which they were rescued out of the mine, while every player in the team representing the rescuers had the number 33 on the chest of their red shirts.
Besides Piñera, among the players for the Rescue team were mining Minister Laurence Golborne and the head of the rescue operation, engineer André Sougarret. Because most of the players, including the President, were not in their best physical shape, the game only lasted 20 minutes each half, instead of the 45 minutes of regulation games.
Before the game started the teams set up a wager that the loser would have to go down the mine and the winning team would stay at the government house to run the country.
Miner Franklin Lobos holding a gift soccer ball after rescue from San Jose Mine near Copiapo  Chile
Miner Franklin Lobos holding a gift soccer ball after rescue from San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile
Gobierno de Chile
Since they were defeated, once the game was over, the miners were ready to go back to the refuge 700 meters below ground were they stayed for nearly 70 days. “Don’t worry, we’ll rescue you again”, said Piñera. Although the government team won the game, the defeated miners walked out the field proud of having in their ranks the MVP of the game, former soccer player Franklin Lobos, the miner that in his best time played defending the Chilean colors during qualifying matches for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Following the game president Piñera praised the efforts of Team Hope by saying: “They were great players, a bit out of shape, but not lacking of technique…”
More about Trapped Miners, Chile, Soccer game, Sebasti era
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