The day started with mixed emotions with a stark reminder of the dangers of South Africa with Nelson Mandela‘s 13-year-old great-grandaughter becoming victim to a car accident just moments after the World Cup Concert. It was yet another reminder of the grim reality of life in South Africa and the many dangers that follow.
South Africa – Mexico
The high-flying Mexican side started by flexing their muscles over the home side but failed to register a goal in the first half despite out playing Bafana Bafana for the full opening 45 minutes. The Coach must have said something at half time as his South African boys came out to play and saw their dreams come true in the 50th minute when Siphiwe Tshabalala scored a howler of a goal and the host nation went wild.
Unfortunately, Mexico denied the hosts full points on the day when Rafael Marquez scored just 12 minutes from extra-time. Still, South Africa can be happy to steal a point from an encounter that had disaster written all over it just months ago.
Man Of The Match: Siphiwe Tshabalala
France – Uruguay
In an odd turn of events France Manager Domenech dropped in-form Florent Malouda just moments before kick-off and made the rift in the Les Bleus camp even wider when he put influential striker Thierry Henry on the bench to start.
France showed no real attacking force until the pair finally came on at the end and even against 10-men Uruguay they failed to score. This game played out to a nil-nil draw and the gaffer can certainly only point fingers at himself for his team failing to score in a must win match.
Man Of the Match: Diego Forlan
– Drenched in irony, Diego Maradona, the scorer of one of the most controversial goals in football history, said to media that he wished for the World Cup to play with the spirit of fair play. Fair play?! Hand of God anyone?
– With two matches played and two draws, the complainers are out in full force saying that Football is a boring game. Hold on a second here, if it’s boring how is it the most popular sport on earth? Sure we had two draws, but both had a level of excitement to them and as the opening games continue to roll out the big teams will start to score.
– Although Canada will not be sending a team to the World Cup, they did send grass. Their grass is being used during the World Cup and it allows Canada to do their part. Now if only we could put a home-grown team out there too…
Henry Whitfield is an avid sports fan who covers everything and anything in the sports world, while focusing on hockey and football. Follow him on twitter @HenryWhitfield.