FIFA World Cup: the opening game

11 06 2010

Here it is: my word-for-word account of the first game of the FIFA World Cup, as jotted down onto my notepad from the begging of the match right until the end.


In the spirit of things, much to my chagrin and not to be a stick in the mud, I have decided to watch the opening match of the FIFA World Cup between South Africa and Mexico. Wearing my yellow pashmina – a pseudo support tactic. And I have a large mug of tea to see me through this.

With glasses...

...and without. Which me do you prefer?

17 and a half minutes: yellow card to Mexico. How exciting… free kick for South Africa.

24 minutes: so far, so good. Playing not bad, from both sides.

26 minutes: foul for Mexico. 26 min 40 sec: Ooh, yellow card for South Africa. Tsk-tsk…

So glad I’m not at the stadium. Wouldn’t be able to hear anything above the roar of the vuvuzelas. What have they got to do with South Africa or soccer or anything? All they are is loud and annoying. Could make someone deaf with one of those.

83rd, 17th = ranking of South Africa and Mexico. Ouch (for us, of course). Possession favouring Mexico in opening match, 30 minutes in already. I’d rather watch soccer than rugby, but so far it’s simply a lot of ball kicking.

31 min 54 sec: Great one-handed save by Bafana’s keeper (who turns 23 next Sunday) – what reflexes, blocking it with his right arm like that.

33 min 38 sec: Crazy! Mexico at goal again, but no luck.

Please don’t ask me to mention or remember any names. I’m not that into soccer.

Hmm… South Africa needs to up their game… oh, dear, off-side. And I was just getting ‘excited’ when we were finally gaining some possession.

Corner kick to Mexicans… kicked in but off-side. Nice. Lucky escape for South Africa. And now the ball went over the crossbar. Poor Mexicans. But they’re absolutely ruling over South Africa – really, really need to step up the game and take a look at their game plan regarding defence.

OH! So close for South Africa. I actually shouted out “idiot” when the guy missed it 🙂 (head shot)… and again, so close. Dang. 1 minute additional time, score still 0 – 0.


Okay, so what do I know?

Things are ‘intense’ for South Africa, not only because their game play needs to go up a few notches, but also because they’re playing on home ground, in front of all their supporters (note: not necessarily Bafana Bafana supporters but patriotic South Africans loyal to the pride of their country). I mean, how would it look if they lose their first match – the opening game, of all things! (Pressure for home team is ‘normal’.) Mexico have played in 5 opening matches, losing 4 and tying 1. Looking at it that way, one might think that South Africa has a change, and I’m not saying that we don’t… but I have my doubts. Where’s the control? We can be lucky that Mexico hasn’t scored yet, since they’ve come so close a few times.

Game has pretty much been Mexico all the way. 2 minutes into the game they almost scored! Luckily good save, South Africa’s goalkeeper knows what he’s doing.

Goody, let’s get ready for the 2nd half. Just spare us a beating, Mexico. Please.

A-n-n-n-d… we’re off! Time to pull up our proverbial socks, according to one of the commentators.

Timely interception, and we don’t score. Oh well (47/ 48 minutes). I’m busy explaining the dynamics of the game thus far to my Significant Other. He has to work until 6:30 PM, so he’s pretty much missing out… on the nothing much that’s happening…

51 min 35 sec: blow of the whistle. Why I’m not sure. The game is sort of lost on me when they’re not speaking English. All I know is Dos Santos is a great player.

LOL, every time the commmentators say “the Mexicans” I think of South Park (more on this later).

Siphiwe Tshabalala scored BRILLIANTLY for South Africa! 54 minutes into the game. Well done, player #8. And eight is my lucky number 🙂

3rd yellow card of game, second one for Mexico. Ooh! Foul, 58 minutes, tugged a Mexican player’s jersey. And our goalie saves the ball again. Lovely.

Insane! What a save by our goalie, that was sooo close! What a leap 🙂 Nice try, however, Dos Santos. Must be best Mexican player on field. Come on, mid-field support – stop lacking! Half an hour left… Ah man, we were just so close to another goal… and it went by next to the net box thingy. Our possession is far better in this half. But the Mexicans continue to frustrate.

68 minutes into the game. Mexico brings in a new player, a ‘legend’, they say. Can he help them? Who knows. But Bafana Bafana are heading for the goal… oh, and it doesn’t happen. Yellow card for South Africa, 59 min 30 sec. Crap, Mexico gets a kick. But it comes in far too long, so no goal there. Phew. Hope I’m not sweating.

Smudgy has finally settled down next to me on a pillow. Too much excitement.

Smudgy's opinion of soccer.

Play seems to have slowed down a bit, 72 minutes gone, only 18 minutes left. Shocked to find myself commenting from the sidelines (i.e. my couch) like a true sports enthusiast. What have I become? Maybe there was something in my green tea… Really, though: wouldn’t it be amazing if South Africa wins the opening match? Glad I’m staying at home tonight. The roads and bars will be absolute chaos.

Will Mexico score an equalizing goal? Dunno, but… but… oh!!! Mexico just scored! Only 12 minutes left, and what do you know? Score. Balls… How disgusted am I right now 😮 He just sneaked right past us.

COME ON BAFANA!! Defense!!

This is so stressful. What a bizarre feeling. Still, our opening goal was spectacular. Beat that, Mexico!

7 minutes of play left, Parker brought in to help us out during the final stretch. Let’s hope we can win this…

Whistle, ref? Really? For what?! *calm down”

Ooh, free kick for Mexico… this is not good… And it’s saved, moving into our territory. Nice. Play on! Woohoo – free kick for South Africa for hand ball.  Back and forth, back and forth… C’mon, defence!

Nice save, South Africa. Only 2 minutes left. NO! So close, and the ball hits the woodwork! Against the goal box. DAMN. Where was the back-up? Geez.

Okay, added time. Final moments… almost over…

…and it’s ended in a draw. But wow, have we played a brilliant game! We tied, and we’re ranked 83rd. Now that’s impressive.


Some superfluous, unnecessary, wasted blogging, perhaps… but a feel-good moment nonetheless. Proudly South African? I’m getting there.




3 responses

11 06 2010
World Wide News Flash

FIFA World Cup: the opening game « The Skinny on my Jeans (Genes)…

I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

11 06 2010
Salóme van Lill

Thoroughly enjoyed your entry. Funnily enough, I watched too!! And I have to admit that Bafana Bafana was great!! Just wished that second “goal” wasn’t against the post. It would have been a great goal!!

13 06 2010

Australia given soccer lesson…

Germany have dominated Australia to win 4-0 in their 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group D match at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose scored goals in the first half before Thomas Mueller and Cacau……

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