42,000 soccer fans see 2-0 Chelsea win at Lucas Oil Stadium
Fans are used to seeing football at Lucas Oil Stadium, but not like Thursday night's game. Two of the world's top professional soccer teams played to an audience on TV around the world.
Move over football.
Well maybe not so fast, but when 41,000 soccer fans come to Lucas Oil Stadium, you know Indianapolis is getting serious about its soccer.
"I don't think it's a new sport anymore. I think it's a mainstream sport," said Tom Dunmore with Indy Eleven.
Thursday, Indianapolis played host to Chelsea and Inter Milan for the Guinness International Champions Cup.
"Indianapolis has always been seen as a place that maybe isn't all about soccer, but it's becoming all about soccer and it's good to see that they're giving us that boost of confidence the city needs to bring more people in and show our support for soccer," said Danielle Smith, who coaches her son's soccer team.
Hoosiers are used to sporting Colts blue and white, but they made room for the blue and white of another team at this game.
"I think its awesome. I'm glad that they're doing this because its finally going to make soccer fans out of people that are gonna see this and say 'Oh, why is this Indiana?'" explained soccer fan Wayne Moore.
Why not? Next year, the city gets its own pro soccer team, Indy Eleven. It already has its share of fans.
"Indy is getting their first soccer team and I love soccer and that's the point," said eight-year-old soccer player and fan Daniel Smith.
"There's a lot of soccer fans here and hopefully, hopefully, it will turn into something," said soccer fan Jason Noah.
From the looks of Lucas Oil Stadium Thursday night, it looked like it was already starting to work.
"You're seeing thousands of Americans who grew up now, watching the game on TV, they watch the World Cup. They played the game as kids and now they keep watching and they're coming out to support it," explained Dunmore.
Support it with one goal in mind - not just the goal downfield, but a goal in the future of making soccer fans of this sports town and state yet.
Chelsea scores 2-0 win
Oscar and Eden Hazard scored first-half goals, leading Chelsea to a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan on Thursday night in a quarterfinal match at the Guinness International Champions Cup.
Despite not starting four of its stars that played in the Confederation Cup, including Brazil's David Luiz and Spain's Juan Mata, Chelsea nonetheless at times looked to be in midseason form in the exhibition match before a crowd of 41,983 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Hazard's came on a penalty kick in the 29th minute.
Although an exhibition, the inaugural eight-team, 12-game International Champions Cup is being staged to promote some of Europe's best while offering the teams a chance to prepare for their league seasons that begin at the end of the month.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)