When Melissa Brescini threw a party Saturday, she knew she had to be up early Sunday. Italy’s World Cup match began at 10 a.m.

“We wanted to make sure we got a seat,” said Brescini, seated next to her friends at Sapori di Napoli. The Salem Street coffee shop was one of many North End restaurants showing the game for fans sporting blue Italia jerseys and even flags as capes.

With World Cup fever spreading, many Greater Boston residents have rearranged their schedules to catch their home country’s match. Work, summer class and even parties are no competition for the games.


“I’ll give up everything for the game,” said Arthur DeLima, his eyes barely glancing away from the TV to talk. He was the first to arrive at P.A.’s Lounge in Somerville to see yesterday’s 7:30 a.m. match between his home country Portugal and North Korea. DeLima normally works early in the a.m., but yesterday he found someone to work for him.

At Myung Dong 1st Avenue in Allston last week, nearly every table was filled shortly after it opened for the 7:30 a.m. match between South Korea and Argentina.

Property manager Rich-ard Kim, 25, pushed back a morning appointment to be there: “This only happens once every four years,” he reasoned.

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