So……finally, It is here! FIFA 2010 has kicked off with a massive bang, the vibe in the country is like nothing I have ever experienced! Awesome!
Friday before the first game the atmosphere every where was simply electric, the number of flags on cars seemed to quadruple over night! I decorated my wife’s little yellow car in a massive SA flag and dubbed it the Bafana Bomb. I wasn’t the only over exuberant Bafana supporter, they where everywhere one turned.
The opening ceremony was as refreshing as it was entertaining. None of the usual pomp and ceremony we have come to expect from such events.
It was classy, yet understated and didn’t draw attention away from the more important event, football itself!
I watched the game with friends and family at a local bar, but every bar, restaurant and public space that had a television broadcasting the game was packed with yellow clad South African’s blowing vuvuzelas.
Bafana didn’t start to well and had us all on the edge of our seats for much of the 1st half, but then the momentum seemed to swing and so did the vibe.
When Siphiwe Tshabalala scored the first goal of the first World Cup on African soil, playing in his 50th game for Bafana, I’m pretty sure a jump was recorded on the Richter Scale, the country erupted in joy! And what a quality goal to do it with, beautifully crafted and finished.
Sadly they couldn’t hang on for the win as Mexico earned a well deserved draw after a cracking opening game to FIFA 2010.
The same could not be said of the France/Uruguay game I had the pleasure and miss-fortune of attending that evening. After watching that display live I’m confident Bafana will make the second round of this World Cup.
The football may have been average but the stadium and crowd were world class. I had seats fairly low down, behind one of the goals near the corner flag, but the view from there was spectacular, we didn’t miss one bit of the action, even on the other end of the pitch.
Getting into the ground had some issues, but that’s because Capetonian’s arrive late for everything and then all the entry points had 2 queues for every metal detector, which slowed everything down. Once inside though moving around was easy and stress free, there was no overcrowding anywhere except at the undermanned food stands. Beer was easily obtained but at a price that is actually ridiculous in the cold light of day, about 50% more expensive than outside the ground.
Since then from what I’ve seen all of the other games have been fairly well supported with no real upsets, aside from Slovenia topping England’s group. Germany have laid down an early marker with a very good win over the Aussie’s and Argentina probably could have won comfortably by more.
I also have no voice, and it’s only day 4!!!!
I’ll have more for you tomorrow. Enjoy the footy!