Last-8 tension: can you feel it?

2010-07-01 00:00

IT seems it has all happened so quickly and there are only eight matches left for football lovers to enjoy in the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Yesterday was the first day since the tournament began that there was no football on offer as the remaining teams prepare for their quarter-final clashes.

Bafana Bafana may be out, but an African interest in the competition certainly remains with Ghana’s Black Stars set to take on Uruguay tomorrow in an 8.30 pm quarter-final clash at Soccer City.

The quality of football is reaching its peak during these tense stages of the tournament and recent results suggest that there is no certainty as to which of the eight sides will be contesting the tournament decider.

Logic dictates that a Spain versus Brazil final is a bet worth taking at this stage, with both living up to their Fifa World Cup rankings as the two best sides in the world, having progressed with relative ease since the group stage.

The early departures of England, France and Italy, though, remind us that the World Cup doesn’t care much for logic.

South Africa has just about pulled it off as far as hosting the tournament is concerned. Danny Jordaan and his Local Organising Committee team have all but arrived at the moment where they can look back at a job well done.

Fifa’s general secretary, Jerome Valcke, has tipped South Africa as a possible “Plan B” option for future World Cup tournaments and this will almost certainly add weight to the country’s possible bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

SA has been treated to an event of epic proportions and it has, seemingly, embraced the World Cup with outstretched arms.

No football being played over the last two days is indicative of the spectacle drawing to a close, though, and July 12 will provide the biggest football hangover that our shores have ever seen.

Unless, of course, Africa’s party sticks around for another four years as the Black Stars light up the skies of the footballing world on July 11.

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