Thai Soccer Team Once Trapped in Cave Receive Thunderous Applause in Argentina Match

The team was given a warm welcome from the crowd.

The Thai youth soccer team who captivated the world after their rescue from a flooded cave received quite the ovation over the weekend as they played a friendly match against an Argentina team. 

The 12 boys and coach from Thailand’s Wild Boars team faced off against the youth club of Argentine giants River Plate Sunday at Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires. 

During the game, the Wild Boars donned purple jerseys with the River Plate insignia on them and were given thunderous applause when they entered the stadium and took the field. 

The final score of the game was 3-3. 

“It’s really a spectacular moment because these boys have lived really terrible moments,” River Plate President Rodolfo D’Onofrio told Reuters. “We are very happy to receive them to play a one-hour football game.

The match capped off a wild weekend for the team as they were honored guests at the Youth Olympic Games being held from Oct. 6-18 in the country. 

"The kids are very happy to be here, very excited,” Werachon Sukondhapatipak, head of the Thai delegation, told Reuters. "It is something important to be there to discover the Youth Olympics and to show their appreciation to the world."

The Wild Boars participated in the Youth Olympic Games opening ceremonies Friday and were given a hero’s welcome by the crowd. 

Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee called the team "brave" in his speech during the ceremonies and said they “showed us all the importance of sports values."

The Wild Boars and their coach, Ekopol Chanthawong, were exploring Chiang Rai’s Tham Luang cave on June 23 and found themselves trapped for more than two weeks.

They were saved between July 9 and 10 following an international rescue effort.