Mexico vs. South Africa
Yes it has been awhile and I apologize to my fans. I have neglected to post and here I resume.
Today the world's greatest event was kicked off. The 2010 FIFA World Cup got underway with the home nation, South Africa, hosting Mexico in the first match of the Group Stages. Atmosphere was electric with the 'vuvuzelas' being blown and with that eardrums were blown. Carlos Bocanegra, who played in a friendly in the past week in South Africa, told of their booming noise, that it was 'deafning'. The fans came out in full gear, whether it was face paint or the soccer hats. Either way, World Cup fever was definitely evident and the game was electric.
The game ended in a 1 - 1 draw. By the scoreline, most would deem this boring or mundane. Highlights show otherwise. South Africa showed their nerves in the first 45, allowing Mexico to dominate possession and often letting them in for easy attacks. Giovanni Dos Santos was dynamic, often cutting in on his left foot and blasting shots at goal which paved way for the keeper to shine. Itumuleng Khune was near perfect in goal in the first 45, stopping all Mexican shots and showing off his aerial ability. First half ended at 0 - 0, even though many agrue it should've been 1 - 0 to the Mexicans. An offside call on Giovanni Dos Santos was what many argue was in incorrect call was the difference. With that in mind, the Mexican side walked off with signs of disappointment as the South African side were content with their display.
2nd half started and the South African side had more confidence. They had a quicker stride and a faster step to counter the Mexican creativity. In the 55th minute, all of South Africa erupted. A beautiful counter attack lead to Siphiwe Tshabalala, so fun to say, streaking down the left flank and firing a laser into the top left corner, giving South Africa a 1 - 0 lead. The fans went nuts, cheering and screaming at the top of their lungs. The game continued and the Mexican began to amount a full on onslaught, attacking from every angle, causing the South Africans to go into full on defense. In the 79th, Andres Guardado, a late sub, sent in a long cross that hit a wide open Rafael Marquez to put away the equaliser. The stadium was in complete stun. All the fans hung their head in their hands, knowing the win was just ripped from their hands. After that, the game stalled and ended in a 1 - 1 draw.
In honest opinion, this game was for Mexico to win. They have, arguably, the most creative and flairy players in the tournament and played a very technical South African side that should've succumbed to their passing. On the other hand, South Africa shined. They surprised the world with their resilient play and showed they could compete with the big countries. Khune and Tshabalala showed their talent, as did Pinnear and Modise. Look for South Africa to make more an impact than expected.
Check in later tonight for the France vs. Uruguay analysis.