More than 200 people filled Boston's City Hall Plaza on Monday to watch the United States and Spain face off in the Women’s World Cup round of 16. The viewing was part of a watch party organized by the mayor’s office, and was free of charge for the public.

Some of the crowd came to the 12 p.m. showing dressed in stars, red, white and blue, and the jerseys of their favorite players on the U.S. national team. The U.S. won 2-1 after a hard-fought, hour-and-a-half battle. Midfielder Megan Rapinoe saved the day, scoring all of the American goals.

Many of the attendees were watching the game on their lunch breaks or while on summer vacation. Some even came into the city on their own time to catch the viewing.

“I played soccer, my husband’s played soccer, my boys have played soccer, my husband and my son have been to the World Cup … I came in early so I could see it,” said Mary Day of Medfield. Day said the turnout in the plaza was smaller than she thought it would be.

The city will hold another viewing party at City Hall Plaza when the U.S. takes on France in the Quarter Finals on Friday.

The crowd at Boston's City Hall Plaza swelled to more than 200 people at the height of the match before halftime.
Chaiel Schaffel WGBH News

At least one fan in attendance referenced the team's March lawsuit against U.S Soccer, which alleged pay discrimination based on gender, as a reason why they came out in support of the athletes. The team and the U.S. Soccer Federation agreed to mediation on the issue just days before Monday's match.

The team had some devoted fans in the crowd, but at least one felt some dual loyalty.

Diana Rodriguez of Woburn, a teacher on summer break who is Portuguese-American, grew up with soccer. Rodriguez said she was still rooting for the Americans, but that she felt "conflicted" about it.

“Spain is right next to Portugal," she said. "I mean, the Portuguese like to call the Spanish 'nuestros hermanos' — 'our brothers.'"

Rodriguez said that even though she thinks soccer does not have a big United States following yet, she sees it growing.

“Soccer, or football, is not the primary sport in the States … but I think that’s changing," she said. "I see more and more people here in the States wearing club jerseys from the Italian league or the English league. … I think slowly, it's making its way.”

Fans raise their fists and cheer seconds after the United States team kicks the game-winning goal.
Chaiel Schaffel WGBH News

Chaiel Schaffel is an intern with WGBH News.