Bafana’s time to ‘Show dem’ has come

2010-05-18 00:00

THE last bits of club football are nigh upon us, with the small matter of the Champions League and the Nedbank Cup finals wrapping things up on Saturday.

I will leave it to you to decide which is more important, but judging from the number of closet Amazulu fans who surfaced on Sunday morning, Jose Mourinho’s push for a treble will take a back seat to Usuthu’s first final in 18 years.

The penalty shootout that got Amazulu into the Soccer City showpiece was in keeping with a terrible day for spot kicks all round.

Kevin Prince-Boateng’s limp effort against Chelsea was followed by an equally poor shot by Frank Lampard. But Didier Drogba’s nifty free kick secured Chelsea’s double to cap a remarkable season.

But not before Salomon Kalou produced yet another candidate for miss of the season. I had almost pencilled it in for the greatest clanger of the entire campaign, but then a trip to the local Varsity league on the weekend proved that there is always a bigger howler just waiting to be exposed.

I won’t mention names, for the culprit is apparently still having nightmares about his meltdown. But you can imagine what his team-mates said when, with no keeper in sight, the man of the moment somehow managed to heel his attempted side-foot at a right angle, thus turning a certain goal into a near throw in. From three yards out.

You can’t even make these things up. But you have got to love the atmosphere at those campus derbies. Friends of friends pop in, still nursing hangovers from a few hours ago.

And absolutely everyone on the sidelines is an expert. I thought I was bad, but you could swear that the South African Football Association missed a trick by not hiring some of these chaps as consultants for Carlos Alberto Parreira. The state of the pitch, players’ weight, the quality of the officiating — nothing escapes their keen eyes. But, of course, none of them would dare step onto the pitch.

“Nah, it’s overrated. And besides, if I was playing, I would wipe the floor with these kids.”

Those were just some of the choice morsels served up as reasons for not being in the thick of the action. And don’t even get these boys started on their thoughts on the real stars.

“Arsenal will never win the league again.”

“Sir Alex Ferguson will never retire, unless he wins another treble.”

“Liverpool is not even in the big six anymore!”

It’s fascinating, and the conversation was going along swimmingly until someone mentioned Bafana Bafana’s chances in the World Cup. If you want to spark a debate, then throw the Bafana bone into a crowd that has a sprinkling of real fans and those who have jumped on the bandwagon in the past few weeks.

The hardened — and long suffering — fans will bluntly tell you that miracles do not come in doubles, and the fact that we are hosting the whole thing is enough of a gift.

So let’s not go expecting Bafana to trounce Mexico and sail into the semis.

The new brigade, armed with the “Show dem” routines, clearly watch too many soapies on SABC, for they can still see Madiba — not even the real, randy leader of this country — passing the cup on to Aaron Mokoena come July 11.

I didn’t even think grown-ups believe in fairy tales but, then again, this weekend was full of surprises.

Bafana actually scored, and scored plenty to go with it. Yes, it was against a country better equipped to scale walls and be extras in a Rush Hour sequel, but try tell that to the desperate masses.

Even Katlego Mphela’s very convincing Thierry Henry impression for the second “goal” went by unnoticed, as the entire country was just too relieved to care.

Dodgy goals and oppositions aside, Bafana’s win showed two things.

If they get lucky and make a good start, they will trigger an overwhelming mountain of support, which might just help them sneak into the next round.

The other revelation was made by coach Parreira, when he said he was pleased but not satisfied, as the team should have scored more goals.

It should have been a cricket score, and they will need to be as ruthless as an Afrikaner-laden Pommie cricket side if they plan to stick around for the second round.

And that’s as much as anyone should say about the cricket this week.

LUNGANI ZAMAThe Armchair Expert

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.