Peruvian fans turned the streets of Saransk – the smallest of the World Cup host cities – into a giant Latin American carnival as they marched towards Mordovia Arena to watch their team face Denmark.
Peru are appearing at their first World Cup finals since 1982, and their fans have been out in force to contribute to the special atmosphere in Russia so far this summer.
Their colorful number have been a ubiquitous presence in Moscow in recent days, and they made their way en masse to Saransk – which has a population of just under 300,000 – to attend the team’s World Cup Group C opening game against Denmark on Saturday.
They formed a huge column of red and white to march toward the venue of the game, Mordovia Arena.
They chanted in unison as they approached the ground, creating a spectacle the likes of which locals in the provincial city had never seen before.
They also gathered around the city’s main cathedral, playing music and bringing a touch of the South American party spirit.
The fans were ultimately left with little to cheer in the match itself, suffering a 1-0 defeat against the Danes thanks to Yussuf Poulsen’s goal on 59 minutes, after Christian Cueva had blazed a first-half penalty over the bar.
However, the indomitable Peruvian spirit is unlikely to be dampened, and they will take the party to Ekaterinburg where they face France on Thursday.