The football followers flocking to the Fan Zone of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 were given a pleasant surprise by the appearance of the Venezuelan squad! Photos, hugs, ball skills and laughter were all in abundance on an enjoyable afternoon for all on 18 November in Port Moresby.

La Vinotinto made room in their busy schedule to meet and spend time with a host of fans of the beautiful game, who had headed to the Vision City Mega Mall. “To be honest, we’ve been shown so much warmth right from the moment we arrived in the country. I’m very happy about that, while the enthusiasm everyone is showing is really infectious,” said striker Vimarest Diaz, speaking to FIFA.com

The event began with Diaz saying a few words of welcome to those present, on behalf of herself and the rest of the squad. After being handed an enthusiastic reception, which included a dance routine, the Venezuelan youngsters made their way to a mini-football pitch, where they shared a space with several local teams. Once the small-sided games were complete, the Vinotinto starlets wowed spectators by showing off their individual ball skills.

“Papua New Guinea has welcomed us so well,” said defender Neily Carrasquel. “The people here are very warm, very friendly and they’ve always got a smile on their face. We’re being well looked after in the hotel too, so I’m very happy to be experiencing this whole adventure.”

Once the football fun ended, the selfies and autographs began and, as you can see from the photo gallery, there was no shortage of boys and girls seeking out the players – who themselves happily took the time to sign photos and items and smile for pictures and selfies. And with a healthy dose of the host nation’s warmth and enthusiasm under their belts, the moment arrived for Venezuela to head back to the team hotel and the serious business of preparing to tackle Mexico on Monday 21 November.