Record crowd in Brisbane
The dual magnetic appeal of Brazil's samba-style football and the unpredictability of African soccer is likely to set a new attendance at the Brisbane Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Olympic organisers are predicting a sell-out crowd at the 37000 - capacity venue when Brazil meet South Africa in an Olympic Games soccer tournament group D match in the Queensland capital.
The Gabba, as the stadium is better known, was refurbished and expanded last year for its hosting of part of the Olympics soccer tournament and a new attendance record was set on January 9 this year when 35,738 people watched a one-day cricket international between Australia and Pakistan.
The stadium is traditionally used for cricket, as home to the Queensland team, and also Australian Rules football, where the Brisbane Lions are the local favourites.
But soccer is set to surpass the appeal of the two other disciplines with stadium officials predicting that a sell-out crowd will watch Sunday's group match.
Also sold out are next Wednesday's final group game, when Brazil meet Japan, and the quarter-final on September 23 - the last game at the Brisbane venue. Stadium officials say they are excited at the prospect of setting a new mark during the Olympic Games, which have been feverishly followed by the city of Brisbane despite being a considerable distance away from host city Sydney.
Brazil won their opening group match against Slovakia 3-1 in Brisbane on Thursday while South Africa lost 1-2 to Japan in their first match, played in Canberra.
"Sunday is a game we naturally have to win," said South African star midfielder Quinton Fortune, who plays at English champions Manchester United.
"It goes without saying that if we lose this one, it will be all overfor us."