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Date: 16 December 2018

  South African - Soccer

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Mexico hold South Africa in World Cup Opener

[Posted 11 Jun 2010]
Mexico hold South Africa in World Cup Opener

By Brighton Mupangavanhu

In a historic 2010 World Cup opener played at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa and Mexico played to an exciting 1-1 draw.

After a goalless first half in which Mexico dominated the match and squared numerous scoring chances, Siphiwe Tshabalala scored a stunning goal in the 55th minute. With an improved second half performance, Bafana Bafana made use of their first real chance of the match to draw first blood. Tshabalala got to the end of a brilliant build-up from the home team, when he outpaced the defence and slotted home the first goal of the World Cup tournament.

Playing with a lone striker, the host nation played a subdued first half, with Franco, Vela and Dos Santos proving a handful for Bafana defence. Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune made numerous saves to deny Mexico from scoring an opening goal.

As early as the second minute, Khune skillfully denied Paul Aguilar from the right flank. Khune made the greatest first half save in the 20th minute from the same player. In the 32nd minute Khune intervened to deny dangerous midfielder Giovanni dos Santos a chance to get Mexico the opener. Khune was to deny dos Santos again in the 60th minute.

South Africa's greatest chances in the first half came from Katlego Mphela and Kagiso Dikgacoi in the 23rd and 45th minutes respectively. The former forced veteran Mexican keeper Oscar Perez to make a save, while the latter headed over the cross bar.

The second half saw Bafana coming out their shell and taking the game to their South American opponents. They were rewarded when Tshabalala cut in to reach the end of a neat build up by Bafana. It was a brilloiant goal.

Following lapse of concentration in defence, Marquez, who plays for Barcelona in Spain, took advantage of a ball watching defence to cooly control a well-taken free-kick by Vela and beat a sprawling Khune in the 79th minute. There was nothing the young Bafana keeper could have done. This put a damper to an otherwise impressive display by the central defence pair of captain Mokoena and young Bongani Khumalo.

Meanwhile, France and Uruguay played to a goalless draw at the Gree Point Stadium. The match was delicately balanced through out, and saw Uruguay being reduced to 10 mean when second half substitute Lodeiro was sent off for a second bookable offence. The draw means all four teams in Group A have a point each. South Africa and Mexico will lead log by virtue of having scored in their 1-1 draw in the earlier match.

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