It was another morale boost for the 33 miners trapped in Chile – although the result could have been better.
While their families watched the national football team’s friendly match against Ukraine from their improvised Camp Hope at the mine head, hundreds of metres underground the miners were sharing the experience.
A miniature projector dropped down a narrow bore hole displayed the game on a wall. Engineers liaised with a local mobile phone company to organise the broadcast.
The miners were able to see Chile’s players take to the field in Kiev wearing t-shirts with the slogan “fuerza mineros” – “miners be strong!”.
One of them, Franklin Lobos, is a former professional footballer who played for several Chilean clubs and the national side in the 1980s.
Newspapers said he acted as the match commentator.
Never mind that the game ended in a 2-1 defeat for Chile. It was only a friendly.
Engineers say the miners have begun hearing the noise of the drilling, another encouraging sign as the operation to rescue them makes progress.
Two shafts being sunk have already reached a depth of more than 100 metres.
But it’s still expected to be two to three months before the miners are brought out.
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