Bogota: The euphoria in soccer-mad Colombia is deafening, and wonderfully contagious, ahead of Friday's do-or-die World Cup match against host Brazil. (Also read: Top five reasons why Colombia can stun Brazil)
Never before has the star-crossed nation made the quarterfinals. Some are even waxing poetic about World Cup unity accelerating the pace of 18-month-old peace talks to end a half-century of conflict that has claimed some 220,000 lives.
Half the population seems to be wearing the canary-yellow national jersey, even on days Colombia isn't playing. And the merrymaking, from singing in the streets to collective game-watching on huge screens in public parks, is often so unrestrained that many big-city mayors have imposed bans on alcohol sales on game days. (Related: Alcohol consumption in Brazil zooms skywards)