What a fantastic start to the World Cup. The South Africa against Mexico game had colour, passion, skill, thrills, spills, attempts on goal, good saves, great goals and one heck of a lot of noise.


The opening ceremony and the build up to the game made me realise just what a monumental moment this was in the history of the African continent. It was exciting and emotional and had me absolutely spellbound.

If it had taken a while for me to get struck down by World Cup fever, it soon hit me a couple of hours before that first game kicked off.


The sight of the South African team singing and dancing before the game was as thrilling as it was unusual for a European spectator.

Whilst Mexico were the better team on paper and would have been fairly strong favourites to win, it became clear that victory for them would be a very big ask indeed. The day and the game meant so much to the South Africans that they were walking a foot taller. The crowd were amazing and those vuvuzela certainly make a noise.


Mexico must have felt that it was them against the rest of the world as most neutrals watching the game were hoping for a victory for the host nation.

South Africa started the game nervously and Mexico had the majority of the possession and all of the chances. The first half belonged to the visitors although South Africa did lay siege to their goal in the last couple of minutes of the half.


The second half was a different story as South Africa started to play with a freedom and ambition that had been absent in the first forty-three minutes.

The first goal came from the impressive Siphiwie Tshabalala when he finished in great style a flowing Bafana Bafana move by lashing the ball into the top corner. What a goal and what a noise from the crowd.


For a few minutes South Africa looked reasonably comfortable hanging on to their lead but Mexico were always dangerous, especially once the thirty-seven year old national hero Blanco took to the field as a substitute.

They pushed and probed for a goal and it finally came when the one weakness the South Africans showed, defending set pieces, was exploited by Barcelona’s Rafael Marquez who joyfully hit home a probably deserved equaliser.


In the last minute South Africa striker Katlego Mphela was through on goal and had a chance to cement his place in history but he was desperately unlucky to see his effort beat the Mexican keeper but rebound away off the post.

In the end a draw was a fair result and both teams have a chance of making progress from the group. The South African team and the fans did their nation and continent proud and showed that they are capable of staging a fantastic tournament.


If it carries on like this what a treat we are all in for over the next month.

I’ve got to mention England ahead of their game against the USA later. Let’s have a good start lads, not like normal. Come on England!

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