Johannesburg – The South African Legends were defeated 2-0 by the Italian Masters in the first match of the inaugural Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day at FNB Stadium in Soweto on Saturday.
The host team featured stars from the victorious 1996 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) squad, including Mark Fish, John 'Shoes' Moshoeu and Phil Masinga as well as crowd favourites Jomo Sono and Mlungisi Ngubane.
The stadium, host of the 2010 Fifa World Cup final, continued to fill as thousands watched on and soaked up the atmosphere ahead of the Bafana Bafana clash.
In recognition of the former president's contribution to sport in South Africa, spectators would later witness Bafana's friendly international against 2013 Afcon runners-up Burkina Faso, followed by the Springboks taking on Argentina, in their 2013 Rugby Championship opener.
Spectators wearing Springbok and Bafana Bafana jerseys, waving South African flags and sporting vuvuzelas and various shapes of headgear could be seen throughout the stadium, which was expected to be filled to capacity by the time the Springboks kicked-off late in the afternoon.
Outside, scores of sports fans were purchasing beverages and food items while the sun beat down on the field. – Sapa