While most of America tuned in to see the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs earn their way to Super Bowl LVII, Ryan Reynolds was wrapped up in a different brand of “football” on Sunday (Jan. 29). Ryan, 46, watched as Wrexham A.F.C, the Welsh football club he co-owns with Rob McElhenney, took on England’s Sheffield United F.C. in the FA Cup. Ryan wasn’t alone as he watched the teams play to an exhilarating tie: James Reynolds, his and Blake Lievely‘s 8-year-old daughter, joined her father in the stands.
During one of the match’s more lighthearted moments, James placed a cap on her dad’s head while he seemed a bit nervous about his team’s chances. It was a furious back-and-forth match, with both clubs trading off the lead before the final whistle was blown. At one point, Ryan got out of his seat to cheer on the club, shouting loudly as the rest gathered at Wrexhman’s home pitch, The Racehorse Ground.
Blake, 35, wasn’t there with her husband and daughter. Instead, she watched the game from their home in Los Angeles. “I bought ESPN+ today,” she captioned an Instagram Story, “just to watch my husband experience crippling anxiety live. Worth it. If you’re not watching this insane [Wrexham] game right now, you’re missing out on these vibes. They’re playing a time three leagues higher. And currently winning. Life makes no sense.”
The game ended in a 3-3 tie. Sheffield’s Oliver McBurnie scored in the second minute of the game, and it would take Wrexham 48 minutes to answer with the equalizer, courtesy of James Jones. Wrexham jumped out in the lead when Tomas O’Connor scored at minute 61, but Oliver Norwood of Sheffield tied things up four minutes later. Wrexham was poised to win the game when Paul Mullin scored, but John Egan scored for Sheffield in extra time, forcing a replay.
“Very disappointed. To concede from one of the last kicks of the game from a set play is gutting,” Wrexham striker Mullin told the BBC, per ESPN. “If we just hold on against ten men, then we are through. I thought we were the better team throughout the game, creating chances and looking dangerous on the break. We limited them to not many chances in open play.”
The FA Cup is the oldest national football competition in the world. It’s a knockout competition (meaning, you lose and you go home), and Wrexham was on the verge of the upset that would have booked them to the tournament’s fifth round. Instead, they’ll travel to Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane for a replay on Saturday (Feb. 4), one day before the other big football game – aka Super Bowl LVII.
Ryan and Rob McElhenney purchased the Wrexham club in 2020. An FX series, Welcome to Wrexham, documented Ryan and Rob’s takeover of the club and the trials and tribulations that come with professional soccer.