Credible draw for Bafana

2010-06-11 16:22

Bafana Bafana opened their 2010 Fifa World Cup

campaign with a credible one-all draw against Mexico this afternoon.

Simphiwe Tshabalala’s 55th-minute strike was cancelled by Rafael

Marquez equalising 79 minutes into the game. Tshabalala, who was earning his

50th cap in Bafana colours, was deservedly made man of the match.

This was not an easy game for the World Cup hosts as they were made

to sweat for the draw. Coach Carlos Parreira had said before the game that the

opening game was always the most difficult and the most important.

But they should have wrapped the game when they were still leading,

had Teko Modise not missed an easy chance.

Katlego Mphela also came close in the 89th minute, but saw his

effort hitting the upright.

In all fairness, though, Bafana were lucky to go to the break still

not trailing, as they were made to chase shadows the entire first half.

They came back strongly in the second stanza, taking the game to

the visitors, and that paid dividends in the end.

The results should give Bafana hope that they can qualify for the

second round of the tournament.

After jumping the first hurdle it should be easy for Bafana against

Uruguay and France on June 16 and 22 respectively.

After showing signs of being nervous for the entire first half,

Bafana came back from the break a completely new side, playing with vigour and

more purpose.

Whatever Parreira said in the dressing room seemed to have been the

inspiration they needed. But in the end they had to settle for a draw.

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