Portugese preparing for big game

IPSWICH'S Portuguese community is preparing itself for a sporting showdown on Thursday when their team takes on their adopted country.Suffolk's county town has become an enclave for many workers from Portugal, who are happy to show their true colours when it comes to Euro 2004.

IPSWICH'S Portuguese community is preparing itself for a sporting showdown on Thursday when their team takes on their adopted country.

Suffolk's county town has become an enclave for many workers from Portugal, who are happy to show their true colours when it comes to Euro 2004.

Antoni Silva, who works at O'Portuguese delicatessen and coffee shop in Norwich Road, said he and his fellow ex-pats were looking forward to the quarter-final clash in two days time.

The 24-year-old, who is originally from Madeira, said: "It's going to be a good game and it will be very exciting."


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He is expecting the coffee shop to be turned into a cauldron of support for his native team, especially after Portugal's 1-0 victory over their Spanish neighbours on Sunday night.

He said: "When Portugal beat Spain all Portugal had an all night party because it was the first time we had beaten them in 23 years. Euro 2004 is the biggest event we have ever held in our country and it's very good."

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Mr Silva said although there was a tense atmosphere in the shop as Sunday's game wore on, the home team's fans were all willing their countrymen to victory.

Now he and his customers are hopeful of another celebration on Thursday.

He said: "It's going to be 2-1 to Portugal on Thursday. I think the winner of the tournament is going to come from this game.

"If England beat Portugal I hope they win the tournament, but I don't like the French because they beat us in the semi-finals of Euro 2000."

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