The Bafana Bafana thanks the crowd for their support.
The Bafana Bafana thanks the crowd for their support.

Rewind to 11 June 2010 - The match that was: Bafana v Mexico

By Jonty Mark Time of article published Jun 11, 2020

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It's a testament to how far Bafana have come over the past few months that they actually look a little disappointed to have drawn that game, but 1-1 was probably a fair result, if you take into account how Mexico dominated the first half.

Mphela had a glorious chance to win it at the end though. We hope you enjoyed IOL's live coverage of this match, and we'll see you again very soon. Goodbye.


It's hard to say which way this one is going. A draw wouldn't be bad for starters for Bafana. Hernandez' header goes off target for Mexico. Defeat for the hosts at this stage would be cruel. But hang on, Mphela is in the clear, and he toe-ends a shot against the post. Ooh, this is tense.


Steven Pienaar is off, and Bernard Parker comes on in his place. Could Parker be Bafana's hero? Meanwhile, Hernandez almost gets in at the other end, but Mokoena makes a vital block.


Well, that's deflated the crowd somewhat, except for a very happy band of a few thousand Mexicans. Still around eight minutes to go in this one.


GOAL! South Africa 1 Mexico 1. Guardardo is allowed too much time and space to pick his cross, and Mokoena clears for a corner. Mexico take a short corner and Guardardo's cross finds Rafael Marquez in all sorts of space at the back post to steer the ball past Khune.


Sublime play from Bafana, they've played beautifully since scoring. Pienaar provides a glorious flick for Tshabalala whose pass is just too strong for Mphela. Attendance today is 84 490.


Javier Hernandez is on for Franco, who has been fairly ineffective and missed a good first half opportunity.


Javier Aguirre makes a change, throwing on the veteran Cautehmoc Blanco for Vela. But Bafana are on fire right now. Siboniso Gaxa sends Modise away, but he goes down under the challenge of Francisco Rodgriguez and can't get a decent shot away. No penalty, says the ref. Masilela is then booked for a late challenge.


Modise misses an absolute sitter. He's offside anyway, but it's just as well, as he horribly sliced wide after Mphela's shot was deflected into his path.


Mexico are regathering themselves. This is an absolutely incredible game. South Africa must be careful of sitting too much on the back foot from now on. I don't know about you, but my nerves are all over the place!


WHAT A SAVE KHUNE!. Dos Santos screams one towards the top corner, and the Kaizer Chief shot-stopper somehow turns it away. In the midst of all that mayhem, by the way, Deportivo La Coruna's Andres Guardardo replaced Efrain Juarez for Mexico.


That hit from Tshabalala was about as in the top corner as any football will ever go. If you missed that, take a look again. UNBELIEVABLE. South Africa 1 Mexico 0... by the way.


GOAL SOUTH AFRICA! GOAL SOUTH AFRICA! WHAT A HIT! WHAT A HIT! TSHABALALA YOU BEAUTY. Dikgacoi's ball inside the full back and Siphiwe Tshabalala bursts forward and hits an absolute rocket into the top corner. Unbelievable. Soccer City has gone ballistic!


Tshabalala puts in a decent cross from the left, but Carlos Salcido does enough at the back post to put Modise off. A bright start to the second half from Bafana.


In the least surprising moment of the day, Tsepo Masilela has replaced Lucas Thwala for Bafana.


Latest score in the cricket. SA 146/5 in the first Test against the West Indies. The cricketers have apparently hung a Bafana jersey outside their dressing room in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The teams are back out for the second half. And we're off!

%%%twitter">@siphiweshabbakicked off the biggest jol in the country's history, writes @shockerhess.

— IOL Sport (@IOLsport)

Just to confirm, Vela's 'goal' was definitely offside. There was a Bafana player on the line, but Vela was ahead of Bafana 'keeper Itumeleng Khune when the ball was flicked on, so it's offside. Great decision.

HALF TIME - Well, that was an excellent first half of World Cup football. Bafana have been on the rack a little, but have created opportunities themselves and the Mexican goalkeeper Perez looks an accident waiting to happen. At the other end Thwala has been destroyed by Paul Aguilar and will surely be withdrawn at half time. Bafana look threatening when they go forward, but have to stop giving the ball away inside their own half. Don't go away, the second half should be a cracker.


Modise releases Gaxa, and he wins a corner. Tshabalala's corner is flapped at by Perez and it's another corner. Modise's corner is abysmal, but Bafana attack again, and Tshabalala's cross is INCHES away from Katlego Mphela's head. Another corner. Perez flaps again. Another corner. Modise's delivery is much better this time, and Digkacoi rises at the back post but heads wide.


Mexico have the ball in the back of the net but it's disallowed. Dos Santos' corner is flicked on and Vela turns it in. It's given offside with a Bafana player standing on the line, but to me it's the CORRECT decision, because Vela was behind Bafana 'keeper Khune when he got the ball. I'll have to double check the rules on that one...


Bafana cannot keep giving the ball away like this and expect to survive. This time it's Letsholonyane


This time it's Letsholonyane who gives the ball away, and Franco feeds Vela, who shoots across Khune but wide of goal. Meanwhile, Tsepo Masilela is about to replace Thwala, who has looked utterly out of his depth here.


Another chance for Mexico as Vela finds Franco, but Khune springs off his line to make a good stop.


Pienaar digs out a cross from the right, but it's easy for Perez. Bafana are getting back into this a little.

Siphiwe Tshabalala celebrates the goal that made him a household name around the world. Picture: Etienne Rothbart


Kagiso Dikgacoi is booked for a foul on Dos Santos. Rafael Marquez' free kick flies well over the bar.


: Bafana put a controlled passing move together, Pienaar switching to Letsholonyane, to Modise, and Gaxa is bursting into space, but Mphela intercepts a pass probably mean for his own teammate, and slows the move down, though goalkeeper Oscar Perez, who is one of Mexico's weak points in my opinion, makes a right meal of Mphela's cross.


Teko Modise is having a nightmare out there. He concedes possession lamely to Dos Santos, who bursts forward and fires a long range effort just wide of goal. Modise then gives away a free kick in a dangerous position. The ball breaks for Aguilar, but Khune gathers well from his cross.


Bafana win a free kick after Siphiwe Tshabalala goes down under the challenge of Ricardo Osorio. Harsh. Steven Pienaar curls over the bar. Then Efrain Juarez is booked for arguing with the referee. Mexican coach Javier Aguirre is not impressed.


...and Dos Santos' corner is headed over by Guillermo Franco, who kicks the advertising hoardings in frustration. Good chance.


Mexico are still totally dominating possession, but just a couple of crossfield passes from Erfain Juarez have been overhit. Perhaps the rarefied heights of Johannesburg are having an effect on the flight of the ball. Meanwhile, Mexico win a corner ...


Mexican captain Gerardo Torrado clatters into Steven Pienaar and Bafana earn a pressure-relieving free kick. But it comes to nothing as a move down the right peters out...


Mexico are all over South Africa like a violent rash. Bafana's full backs have been horribly exposed so far, with Giovani Dos Santos excelling down the right. Carlos Alberto Parreira's men have barely touched the ball.


A serious early scare for Bafana. Paul Aguilar, on the right of midfield, crosses, and Itumeleng Khune spills the ball. Carlos Vela's shot is blocked behind for a corner by Mokoena.


The national anthem of Mexico is played, followed by South African blared out with a fair gusto by the tens of thousands inside the stadium. Mexico form one of those standard team huddles, the sides change ends and we are ready for the off. PEEP PEEP! Uzbekistan referee Ravshan Irmatov gets the 2010 World Cup up and running!

%%%twitter">@BafanaBafanain their opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup #my2010memories

— (@SAFA_net)


"The spirit of Mandela is in Soccer City," says Blatter, which is actually a lovely thing to say. Nelson Mandela's great granddaughter, Zenani Mandela died in a tragic car accident yesterday, and so he was unable to attend this opening match. President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma is now on the field and says Nelson Mandela said that the World Cup must go on:"We, as a country, are humbled by this honour to host one of the biggest tournaments in the world. This is an African World Cup. The time for Africa has arrived."


First, actually, Fifa president Sepp Blatter is going to give a speech. Does he have to? "The Fifa World Cup is in Africa," he says. No really, I thought it was in Australia.


About 200 photographers pitchside gather to await the teams' arrival on the pitch. AND HERE THEY COME! It's a South African flag, followed by a Mexican flag, and where are the players? There's the Fifa anthem, and here they come! It's bafana's coaching staff first, arms around each other, Carlos Alberto Parreira, Pitso Mosimane, Jairo Leal. This is taking an eternity ... and at last, the teams are here! Time for the national anthems.


Teams are off the field now, and there's a lull as we wait for the start of Africa's first ever World Cup. Well, actually there is no lull, what on earth am I talking about, the vuvuzelas are tearing strips out of the Johannesburg air, there is general pandemonium everywhere.


ON Bafana's team my view is that it's probably Parreira's best XI, but I do worry about Steven Pienaar playing in the hole behind Katlego Mphela. Pienaar was fairly anonymous against Denmark and really needs to show up this afternoon.


Well, I believe the traffic to get here has been pretty chaotic and quite a few people missed the opening ceremony. With 35 minutes to kick off, the stadium is not full, but is fairly close to full. Bafana and Mexico are both doing their warm-ups. The WORLD CUP is half away from starting in South Africa! The WORLD CUP! Can you believe it?!!!


The South African and the Mexican teams have come out onto the field to warm up. Bafana were greeted by a ridiculously loud roar, and Mexico by a few boos and cheers combined. The Mexican team is quite interestin. The experienced Guillermo Franco preferred to Manchester United's new signing Javier Hernandez. And no place either, for Deportivo La Coruna winger Andres Guardardo.


And here are the teams. South Africa, exactly as below. Mexico (4-3-3): Perez; Rodriguez, Salcido, Marquez, Osorio; Torrado, Aguilar, Juarez; Vela, Franco, Dos Santos.


By the way, at about 3pm, an hour before kick off, I should be able to bring you all the team news. Although, Carlos Alberto Parreira actually announced his team yesterday, and it goes like this: South Africa (4-4-1-1): Khune; Gaxa, Khumalo, Mokoena, Thwala; Modise, Letsholonyane, Dikgacoi, Tshabalala; Pienaar; Mphela. The opening ceremony is now over, by the way. If you want my opinion, it was fairly pointless.


Lovely, just lovely! A group of children read out the names of all the participating nations! How sweet! Now the teams have been separated into their confederations. Poor New Zealand, so alone, what with Australia mutineering off to Asia. That's actually extremely well orchestrated, some people lie down to form the 2010 World Cup logo. And then there are some fireworks.


Riaan Muller, all the way from Amsterdam in Holland, is longing for his homeland."Feeling really quite homesick today and would love to be in South Africa right now," he says. "And that Mexican woman in the hotel's lift last night who told me she hopes we lose this afternoon, may her wishes and words haunt her forever. Bafana Bafana, make us proud!!" Flags for all the participating nations are all on the field. There's a bloke kneeling and singing, but he's virtually inaudible amidst the din of the vuvuzela.

%%%twitter">@Femiakuti @thandiswamazwai @tkzeeband @Sowetogospel @hughmasekela and Khaled #my2010memories

— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana)


Now, all the banners of the World Cup competing African nations - South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana and the Ivory Coast that is - have been brought together to form a very African-looking tree - looks a bit like a baobab. Now a whole bunch of people dressed in white have come on the pitch, and sat down.


Let's hand over to our first E-mail. It's from Sakhumzi Mthintsiliana. He says: "Eish, jonty, most of the people have been asking me if we can win this World Cup. I said yes, because we have the best muti ever. This muti is made of Madiba magic, the Zuma tsunami ... the mqombothi and the beer, whiskies and wine from our taverns and shebeens, the electrifying and the unifying sound of the vuvuzela. Our different cultures which represents the Rainbow Nation and ubuntu, all of these when combined represent a winning team backed by a winning nation." Meanwhile, on the field, a whole bunch of people are still prancing around.


It's a giant version of the controversial Jabulani soccer ball! And a dung beetle? That just kicked the ball with it's butt. This is seriously weird. There's now other dancers with red and leopard-skin outfits. Or is that just gold. Now that's quite nice ... they've made amap of Africa out of cloth. The best bit so far....


WELCOME TO SOCCER CITY, booms a voice through the stadium's PA system. And he says some other stuff which I can't make out over the din of one song or another. Now everyone is taking their clothes off on the pitch. Don't worry folks, they have more layers on underneath...And there's smoke, and the vuvuzelas are hitting fever pitch. And now all the dancer's are walkin off the pitch. Didn't quite get the message that whole routine was trying to give, I must say.


IT'S TIME! Dancers dressed in multi-coloured robes come out onto the field, accompanied by others with a more traditional Zulu black and white look. In the centre of the stage there are some drummers, and everyone is dancing around. How lovely.


And there they go again! And now they are gone, I think. Though I can't see through the stadium roof. Meanwhile, the stadium is filling up at a rapid speed. Ooh now there's two minutes to go, it says on the big screen. Maybe those pilots were lost, after all. Apparently it's traffic chaos outside the ground with Rea Vaya at a total standstill, and thousands set to miss the game. OH DEAR OH DEAR. Well, there are still two hours to kick off and let's hope it doesn't turn out that way.


Holy guacamole (appropriate, in a Mexican sense, I'm sure you'll agree). Three jet fighter planes just flew over the stadium, creating an enormous roar that shakes you to your very core! I presume that's the start of the ceremony and some random pilots aren't just lost on their way to the airport.


Only three minutes to go to the opening ceremony. Apparently all the participants had to sign confidentiality agreements, and it's all terribly hush, hush about what exactly will happen.


This is just so exciting I am about to wet myself. Well, not literally, of course, I'm a decent, respectable fellow. But my word, IT IS HERE! CAN YOU FEEL IT! The World Cup 2010 is about to get underway, well, the opening ceremony is anyway. At the moment Soccer City is barely a third full, but the noise is already pretty darn deafening! The vuvuzela's are out in force, while on the field, the stage seems set for the some sort of African celebration to get matters underway. There are banners with the names of the six African qualifiers, and what can only be described as bronze deckchairs around the field. A sunbathing competition? I have no idea. Anyway, feel free to write in to me with your thoughts as this momentous day gathers pace. E-mail me at [email protected] with your thoughts. Will Bafana win? Can we seize the day? Anyone stuck in traffic outside the ground? Anyone stuck in traffic on the moon? I don't care, give me a shout.

Hello and welcome to IOL's live, minute-by-minute coverage of today's World Cup 2010 opening ceremony followed by all the action as Bafana Bafana bid to stun Mexico in the opening match. I'm Jonty Mark, and I'm live in the giant, glorious calabash that is Soccer City, with 90 000 or so expected to do some serious damage to ear-drums with their vuvuzela-blaring later. Hopefully, for South Africans, the noise will also be enough to turn thhe Mexican players incoherent, and allow Carlos Alberto Parreira's Bafana to stroll to victory. It should be a cracker either way, and if you, for reasons best known to yourself, aren't able to put yourself in front of a television set, or aren't lucky enough to have a ticket, you can follow it all right here from 1.45pm.

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