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Soccer fans flood Ottawa bars and restaurants to kick off Euro 2024

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The first weekend of the UEFA European Championship has started, bringing soccer fans to bars and restaurants across the capital.

Spain brushed aside Croatia on Saturday afternoon with a 3-0 win in their opening game. The Lowertown Brewery in the ByWard Market was the place to be for Spain's enthusiastic supporters.

"When the World Cup and the Euro Cup comes on every four years, it's really an opportunity for us to get together," said soccer enthusiast Aurora Iglesias.

Beers poured and cheers erupted when Spanish striker and captain Álvaro Morata scored the first goal of the game.

"Very excited," said Amadeo Zacconi, a Spanish soccer fan.

"We have a very good young team. Hopefully make it to the finals and, very happy to be here with my favorite people."

During the month-long tournament, restaurant owners are expecting a significant rise in business.

"The great thing is, it's noon on a Saturday where you don't tend to see a super ton of business," said Lowertown Brewery's managing partner Alex Sirois.

"These games being early in the day are always great for us."

Events throughout Ottawa will be taking place during the entirety of the tournament. Beyond the Pale Brewing Company has scheduled a number of viewing parties this weekend. The Glebe Central Pub is offering $7 pints of Carlsberg during all Euro 2024, Copa America, Atletico Ottawa and Paris Olympic games.

24 European teams will compete in the month-long tournament, held every four years.

Host nation Germany could hardly have wished for a better start to the championship on Friday, thumping Scotland with a 5-1 win in the first match.

Other matches from Group B played on Saturday, with Switzerland beating Hungary 3-1 and defending champions Italy scoring a victory over Albania 2-1.

The final will be played on July 14 in Berlin.

With files from The Associated Press

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