2 games gone 62 to go, and I think we are all hoping they get a hell of a lot better than yesterday’s performances, the festivities in Johannesburg have been building up ever since the World Cup was awarded to South Africa, a yesterday was a celebration for the South African people, a colourful opening ceremonyand what is going to be a constant wave of noise from the Vuvuzuela’s all there to cheer one their country in the Opening game of the 2010 World Cup, there was something missing though.

After the opening World Cup concert on Friday tradgedy struck the Mandela family and Nelson’s great-Grandaughter was hit by a car and was killed, which meant the great man would not attend the opening game, my thoughts go out to the whole Mandela family, such a shame that this great moment in African history could not be greeted by a Inspirational leader.

The games must go on though, and the Mexican and South African players came out of the tunnel, the South African players singing and dancing showing the great spirit of their country, and after the 10 minute long speaches from Sepp Blatter and Jacob Zuma we were ready to go.

Looking back it was a decent game Mexico started the brighter, but South Africa came back into it which helped the game, then after Mexico equalised it looked like they could steal all the points, but a draw in the end suits both teams and good to start with a point on the board.

SOUTH AFRICA: 16 Khune – 2 Gaxa, 4 Mokoena, 15 Thwala, 20 Khumalo – 12 Letsholonyane, 13 Dikgacoi, 8 Tshabalala, 11 Modise, 10 Pienaar – 9 Mpehla
Subs – 3 Masilela on for Khumalo (45mins), 17 Parker on for Pienaar (83mins)

MEXICO: 1 Perez – 2 Rodriguez, 3 Salcido, 5 Osorio, 12 Aguilar – 4 Marquez, 6 Torrado, 16 Juarez – 11 Vela, 17 dos Santos, 9 Franco
Subs – 18 Guardado on for Aguilar (56mins), 10 Blanco on for Vela (69mins), 14 Hernandez on for Franco (73mins)

Goals: Tshabalala (SA) 55 mins, Marquez (MEX) 78 mins


I liked the right hand side of South Africa’s attack, Gaxa and Modise were very lively and cause some problems, Modise looks to have pace and good footwork, was also really impressed with Tshabalala showed great energy and desire, and of course a great finish for his goal, Dikgacoi and Letsholonyane were good in the centre of midfield working really hard to help Pienaar get open.

At times South Africa played some really nice football, linking up well with pace down the wings, they started slow but picked up in the second half and showed what they could do, definitely have a chance to progress.

Mexico played in a Barcelona-esque style, 2 centre backs with Marquez dropping deep when Salcido and Aguilar went forward which the did at the drop of a hat, playing with alot of width, dos Santos started very brightly and looked to do alot of damage, however I think they with Aguilar getting forward so much he was forced to move inside, which took away his space, Vela was very quiet and I can’t remember anything he did, disappointing for the Arsenal man.

Interesting to see how they get on against France on Thursday where they both need a result.

Next was the match between Uruguay and France, a lot expected from this one, the French needing to show they can live up to their players talents and fans expectations, and Uruguay predicted as some peoples dark horses with Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez surely they will score goals.

URUGUAY: 1 Muslera – 2 Lugano, 3 Godin, 6 Victorino – 16 M Pereira, 11 A Pereira, 15 Perez, 17 Rios, 18 Gonzalez – 9 Suarez, 10 Forlan
Subs – 14 Lodeiro on for Gonzalez (63mins), 13 Abreu on for Suarez (73mins), 8 Eguren on for Perez

FRANCE: 1 Lloris – 2 Sagna, 3 Abidal, 5 Gallas, 13 Evra – 14 Toulalan, 19 Diaby, 8 Gourcuff – 7 Ribery, 10 Govou, 21 Anelka
Subs – 12 Henry on for Anelka (71mins), 15 Malouda on for Gourcuff (75mins), 11 Gignac on for Govou (85mins)

Sent off – Nicolas Lodeiro for 2 yellow cards – 80 mins


A truely awful game, at times 2 passes couldn’t be strung together, France just had no game plan really, everything they did was individual play, Ribery, Anelka, Gourcuff were trying to create but trying too much which lead to a poor match to watch, Uruguay werecontent to try and hit on the break and long balls towards Forlan and Suarez.

The three centre backs for Uruguay although reported to be slow and suspect, they coped pretty well I thought, rarely did Anelka find space to trouble them, helped by Diego Perez in his defensive duties they stiffiled most French attacks, Adriano Pereira seemed busy on the left and put a couple of good crosses into the box, Forlan was his usual self, 2 good attempts on goal but couldn’t trouble Lloris.

France were very poor by their standards, Anelka and Gourcuff were they’re best players, Govou struggled on the right after his early miss, Abou Diaby impressed at times in his galloping awkard style which seems to bamboozle players, Evra and Sagna didn’t get forward as much as they’d like, Ribery was quiet by his own high standards, France need to play as a team if they are going to do anything at this World Cup, and they need to start very soon, a tough game with Mexico next, surely they couldn’t have the same fate the 2002 squad had?

I’m hoping that was the worst game of the tournament.


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