What a Day! What a Night!
JoBra’s Soccer Shorts
Oh my dear head! What a day it was yesterday. And what a night as well!
85,000 passionate fans in place inside the greatest football stadium the World Cup has ever had the privilege of starting at. I was in the nearby area of Kliptown in Soweto, with a large group of vuvuzela mad fans. We made nearly as much noise as those in the stadium itself!
We loved the short opening ceremony, sang the national anthem with immense pride, and nervously forced ourselves to watch the very shaky first 15 minutes of the match.
Siphiwe Tshabala’s goal brought the roof down! Almost literally in our case. What a cracker of a strike – well worth watching over and over again, from every possible angle. And the reaction of the stadium was incredible as well.
And then we partied non-stop until the small hours of this morning! The only short break was to analyse the sloppy defending that gifted the Mexicans their equaliser and to feel a touch of dismay at what could have been an even more memorable occassion.
The general feeling from the armchair coaches was that Teko Modise should have been substituted, not Steven Pienaar. His form was way off, and his very poor finishing on at least two sure goal opportunities was not up to standard. Mphela’s woodwork glance in the final moments caused near-fatal heart attacks in some of the older watchers around, and he too should have buried that ball into the back of the net from so close in.
For two inches of upright South Africa could have finished the day with a win and 3 points – a clear lead over the rest of the group. Considering the very lacklustre France – Uruguay goalless draw later on, this could turn out to be decisive in the long-run. I do hope that it won’t turn out to be the moment that Bafana lost out of moving through to the knockout phase.
Either way, we (and the rest of the nation!) had brilliant time and the opening of the 2010 World Cup will long be remembered by all. I’m just very grateful that the vuvu’s seem to be fairly subdued right now. I love a good vuvuzela blowing myself, but right now my head is still a touch sensitive.