FIFA World Cup Day 1 Recap: Fit to Be Tied

You all better download this video quickly before it gets taken down.

South Africa 1 Mexico 1: Siphiwe Tshabalala emphatically opened the scoring in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Soccer City, Johannesburg. Against the run of play the South Africans went in front on that spectacular shot by Tshabalala into the corner of the net. Mexico replied in the 79th minute with an equzlier from Rafael Marquez off of a short corner. Shockingly poor defending did not help matters for the host nation. They nearly won the match in the end when Katlego Mphela chased down a long kick from the goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, split past two Mexican defenders but had the ball go off his shin and then off the post. It would’ve been a remarkable 90th minute winner but it wasn’t meant to be. Regardless it was a good match and a very good result for South Africa. Sadly Nelson Mandela was not in attendance for this match as his 13-year-old great-granddaughter had been killed in a car accident just hours before kickoff. Mandela mourned with his family privately instead of joining the festive scenes of the Opening Ceremony.

France 0 Uruguay 0: There was almost nothing exciting about this game. ESPN’s SportsCenter promo during PTI said that today featured two World Cup thrillers. The only thing thrilling about this one was the final whistle because this game was terrible. Probably the only real excellent chance during the run of play came from Diego Forlan, when his hard shot inside the penalty area blazed wide midway through the 2nd half. France looked awful with their 4-5-1 formation and could not break down Uruguay’s defense even during the final few minutes when Nicolas Lodeiro was sent off with a second yellow card after a horrendous tackle on Bacary Sagna. The less said about this game, the better. I picked France to finish 3rd in this group and they haven’t persuaded me to change my mind for the better.

Two games in the books but no winners in the first ever World Cup held on African soil. Tomorrow features 3 matches beginning with South Korea vs. Greece, then Argentina vs. Nigeria, and then capped off with USA vs. England.

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2 thoughts on “FIFA World Cup Day 1 Recap: Fit to Be Tied

  1. JFein

    Slightly unrelated, but ESPN’s coverage compared to 2006 has been head and shoulders much better and from the game I’ve heard him thus far, Ian Darke is pretty amazing.

    Reply
    1. Mookie Post author

      I gave myself a system. I’ll watch the pre-game show on CBC, who do an excellent job and don’t employ 5 million people, and then listen to ESPN’s commentators.

      They need to find someone better than Efan Ekoku though. He’s so dull.

      Reply

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