Youth Day encounter ‘special for Bafana’

2010-06-15 00:00

IT will be significant for Bafana Bafana when they play Uruguay in their second World Cup match tomorrow, — Youth Day — the anniversary of the June 16, 1976, Soweto uprising, midfielder Steven Pienaar said yesterday.

Having drawn their opening game against Mexico 1-1 at Soccer City on Friday, Bafana will be hoping to beat Uruguay at Loftus to all but seal a place in the second round.

“It’s going to be a special day for us,” Pienaar said.

“We’re all excited about playing on June 16. It’s a big day in South Africa and hopefully we can get all three points and it will be a celebration for the whole nation.”

Pienaar said Bafana were not disappointed by the level of noise from the vuvuzelas in the opener at Soccer City, as has been reported. Concerns are that, with the high price of tickets, not as many true Bafana followers will have been able to get access to the team’s World Cup games.

“No, I mean when we played against Colombia [in a warm-up at Soccer City] we couldn’t hear each other. On Friday, I think it was a bit of nerves from the players and it went on to the crowd as well.

“But when we started playing our own game [in the second half], the supporters were more awake.”

Pienaar said South Africa are hoping for a more settled game against Uruguay after a nervous first half against Mexico.

“It was a really nervous game because it was the first game in a World Cup for most of us.

“I think, now that the first game’s out of the way, we have to build on it and make sure we get maximum points [against Uruguay].”

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