Group A Match 1 – South Africa versus Mexico

Can "Old Man Blanco" find some magic in those boots of his?


See you in a few for France V Uruguay!

A draw is a fair result and Bafana Bafana almost pulled the victory off. A good opener that looked very one-sided at the beginning turned into a very exciting affair.


92:00 – Blanco has been very positive since his introduction. Some nice passing and effort. He might need an oxygen tank after the game though.

90:00 – WOW…that was close. Mphela runs at the defense and taps a ball past Perez but Mexico is saved by the wood work. Soccer city was would have exploded if that went in. South Africa really going for it.

89:00 – Both teams attacking at full pace now. End to end stuff but nothing troubling either keeper. 3 minutes of added time.

86:00 – Nervy last few minutes for The Boys. Can they hold on for the draw? Do they have what it takes for a win? An entire continent is on the edge of their seats!

83:00 – Great defense splitting pass by Pienaar to Modise but the Orlando Pirate striker was offside. Nice though

82:00 – Whoever dressed up Desmond Tutu has a wicked sense of humor. LOVE IT!

79:00 – GOOOOOOAL – MARQUEZ. Terrible sleepy defending by the boys as off a corner the ball is played over all the south african defenders and lands for Marquez to control it, pick his spot and bang it home. Boo’s are being heard in Nairobi (from the person gchatting nest to me). South Africa 1 – Mexico 1

76:00 – I said it before and I will say it again. Having a Brazilian coach is paying off for the boys as their passing is very nice to watch.

74:00 – Hernandez on for Franco. Mexico going for it!

70:00 – Modiese, anonymous in the first half has sprung to life as he wrestles his way into the box. His second touch is poor and he scuffs his shot and it is easily parried by Perez.

69:00 – JABBA the HUTT comes on…er Blanco comes on for Vela. What can the Mexican talisman do other than eat the defenders? I kid, the man has some serious skill and needs to be respected by the South African defense. He’s still fat!

66:00 – Some more slick passing by the boys as a deflective shot lands at Modise’s feet but his deflection goes out wide. That would have been offside I believe. Game is opening up now as Mexico search for a way back, but El Tri have to be careful of the counter from the ever increasingly confident South African team.

60:00 – GREAT SAVE by Khune as he dives high and wide and saves a shot destined for the top corner. Super strike by Dos Santos who is really a special player.

58:00 – Bafana Bafana on fire now as the goal has lifted them up tremendously. They’re looking for a second, but don’t count Mexico out as they counter through Dos Santos, but the final ball is well marshaled by the south african defense.

55:00 – GOOOOOOAALLL TSHABALALALALALALALA. AND WHAT A GOAL CELEBRATION. A spectacular effort as he gathers a long pass and from outside the box sends an unstoppable shot in the top corner. A great goal, a historic goal…apparently according to someone gchatting next to me the streets of Nairobi are going wild. Solidarity indeed. South Africa 1 – Mexico 0

52:00 – The Boys are playing with a lot more confidence as they are maintaining a lot more possession.

Dos Santos has been Mexico's most dangerous player in the first half

48:00 – Tshabalala makes a lovely turn and meanders down the wing and sends a cross but Modise can’t get there in time. South Africa clearly watched the England game and are trying to beat Mexico in the air.

PEEEP and the second half is underway.

CORRECTION – As poster BW says you do need two players between you and the goal to be onside but in this case the keeper was so far out that there was only a defender on the line. The keeper was way out. Interesting if the pundits in the studio comment on that.

Mexico have dominated this half and should be up 1-0 if it wasn’t for some bizarre refereeing. South Africa are dangerous on the counter but Mexico have had the better chances. Martin Tyler just informed me there are 63 games left!

44:00 – South Africa quickly switch the momentum and win another two successive corners. Of the second one Dikgacoi’s header is wide.

42:00 – Parreira’s Brazilian influence is on display as South Africa work it up the field, into the Mexican penalty box through some quick lovely one time passing. They win two successive corners but nothing comes from them.

41:00 – Mexico send in another dangerous free kick but Franco’s header is up and over. They’re back to dominating the game again.

36:00 – Mexico threatening as they pass it around in the box. Shot goes out for a corner and off it Mexico score, but the flag goes up for offside which it clearly wasn’t. That should be 1-0 for Mexico but for whatever reason it isn’t.

33:00 – Great reaction save by Khune as Vela sends a lovely pass to Franco who tries to chip the keeper. Good football all around.

32:00 – The Boys are playing a lot better and are finding a groove, with the possible exception of Pienaar. Is he trying to do too much?

27:00 – Yellow card for Dikgacoi as he commits a silly foul on a surging Dos Santos. Marquez takes the free kick but like Pienaars its high and wide. Is it the ball?

I'm hoping Reneilwe Letsholonyane doesn't do too much...that's not an easy name to spell. It took 5 minutes to type it this time.

25:00 – I’m really enjoying these slow motion replays of people’s expressions. That said as soon as they show Ribery shouting, millions of babies will be heard screaming.

21:00 – South Africa maintaining a little more possession send in a cross but the ball bounces way over the right winger. Either he is tiny or that was one hell of a bounce.

19:00 – Mexico counter through Dos Santos as he works the ball from midfield. He goes through two defenders and shoots from outside the box which goes narrowly over and wide. He could have gone further I think.

16:00 – Are Vuvuzelas like crickets? You think there are 100’s of them but its only one? A nice inter change of passing but Tshabalala (AMAZING NAME TO SAY) is brought down/dives. Our first time to see the ball in action…but Pienaar’s free kick goes well over.

14:00 – Mexico attack down the wing through Aguilar but is well tackled for a corner. Corner is a dangerous one as Franco comes charging in but his header goes wide.

10:00 – South Africa waking up a bit or coming down from extreme nerves and prodding into the South African half, but not enough to cause any trouble.

5:00 – Its all Mexico as they have come out hard and fast. South Africa are defending but it’s a little shaky.

2:00 – Mexico send in a dangerous cross as Khune saves/spills. Dos Santos scuffs his shot as it is deflected. Nothing comes of the corner but the ball has not gone into the Mexican half yet

TWEEEET – Mexico kick it off

Why are both teams huddling on the same side of the pitch?


The South African national anthem is long….


The exchange of kids has always been one of my favorite traditions. Seriously it must be amazing to be one of those kids to get paraded out like that next to your heroes or some famous footballer…BUT the shaking of hands with the players and dignitaries as they try not to hit the kids in the head could be an exciting new challenge.


That is a good looking stadium! Pre world cup ceremonies and speeches should have been done yesterday. GET ON WITH THE FOOTY…that said its a shame Mandela couldn’t make it.


UGH…not sure whats a worse face to see early in the morning. Ribery, Tevez, an angry Rooney or Sepp Blatter.


I also LOVE that all the ads are footie based. Am giddy and sleepy. This month is going to hurt…in a good way!

Odd to hear the scouse accent on ESPN but  I like it…so wonderfully nasally!


The amount this man has seen and accomplished is amazing

The mood, human interest pieces are already going strong and Stevie Mac and Shaun Bartlett are looking sharp in their suits.

South Africa should be proud that for all they have accomplished in the last 20 years and much of it goes to the 92 year old Mandela whose great grand-daughter was killed in a car accident last night on the way back from a concert. A terrible way for the events to start.


Looks like Mexico are going with a 4-3-3 and South Africa with a 4-4-1-1 maybe a traditional 4-4-2.

South Africa: Khune, Gaxa, Mokoena, Khumalo, Thwala, Tshabalala, Dikgacoi, Letsholonyane, Modise, Pienaar, Mphela.
Subs: Josephs, Masilela, Ngcongca, Sibaya, Davids, Booth, Parker, Nomvethe, Moriri, Sangweni, Walters, Khuboni.

Mexico: Perez, Aguilar, Rodriguez, Osorio, Salcido, Torrado, Marquez, Juarez, Giovani, Franco, Vela.
Subs: Ochoa, Barrera, Castro, Blanco, Hernandez, Moreno, Guardado, Magallon, Torres, Bautista, Medina, Michel.


After 4 years wait, it’s back on. Is there a better alarm sound than the vuvuzela?

74 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Hercules3076 on 2010/06/11 at 6:45 AM

    Any thoughts on these ESPN technical difficulties?

    Can’t wait!


  2. Posted by Shane_K83 on 2010/06/11 at 6:45 AM

    Why is’nt Ochoa staring.. he hurt are something?


    • Posted by Johninho on 2010/06/11 at 10:49 PM

      Ochoa’s completely fit – Aguirre just likes Perez better. This one decision will hamper Mexico through the end of their tournament.


  3. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/11 at 6:48 AM


    I just want to go on record to say I think your efforts to do live commentary for every game is truly remarkable.

    Enjoy the World Cup, everybody. Go England!!



  4. Posted by Jennifer on 2010/06/11 at 6:50 AM

    This is soooo exciting. July 12th will be a depressing day.

    Such sad news for the Mandela family though. It has shades of Vancouver, sadness and happiness all at once.


  5. Posted by John on 2010/06/11 at 6:50 AM

    What an atmosphere…


  6. Posted by Jennifer on 2010/06/11 at 6:53 AM

    Man the poor players have to stand there this whole time. The nerves much be crazy. I’d just want to play.


  7. Posted by Hercules3076 on 2010/06/11 at 6:54 AM

    I hope they turn up the microphones on the commentators, I have a really hard time hearing Martin Tyler….


    • Posted by Jennifer on 2010/06/11 at 6:56 AM

      Me too. I was just wondering if they could get rid of some of the microphones that pick up crowd noise.
      Don’t know if that’s possible though. Hopefully only the SA games will be this loud.


  8. Posted by Jennifer on 2010/06/11 at 7:07 AM

    Holy crap, that was a close one.


  9. Posted by Fireball on 2010/06/11 at 7:07 AM

    Actually hard to hear crowd reaction to the plays with the vuvus so loud.


  10. I’ve got the Univision stream on at work in a background window with headphones on. My Spanish isn’t great but l if something sounds exciting I know to look:-)


    • Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/06/11 at 7:23 AM

      Everything sounds exciting on Univision!


    • Posted by John on 2010/06/11 at 7:25 AM

      CFIG. Look around there are US streams online with english commentary.

      I would post but I don’t want the TSG guys to have any issues.


      • I’ll take a look around, thanks John.

        Shaun, SO true. Dynamo games here occasionally end up only on Univision and it’s a totally different viewing experience:-)


        • Posted by Kevin on 2010/06/11 at 11:15 AM

          Actually I think telefutura does the MLS games. I’m not sure, but I heard yahoo was streaming it… my source isn’t very reliabale but supposedly yahoo is streaming all the games.


  11. Posted by Jennifer on 2010/06/11 at 7:37 AM

    What a save!


  12. Posted by Claire and Jen on 2010/06/11 at 7:41 AM

    yay Shaun! We’re watching just a few blocks away and enjoying your live commentary! Long live the vuvuzela!!!


  13. Posted by Hercules3076 on 2010/06/11 at 7:45 AM

    For once, Mexico has a case…


  14. Posted by BW on 2010/06/11 at 7:46 AM

    offsides technically requires TWO defenders to be between you and goal. Usually the keeper counts as that second, but in this case the keeper came out leaving only ONE defender. the man WAS offsides. correct call. I can’t believe the announcer doesn’t know that!


    • Posted by Hercules3076 on 2010/06/11 at 7:52 AM

      That is strange. So, they don’t have a case, but that doesn’t mean that Mexico won’t complain.


    • I’m still listening in Spanish (figure I should keep a legit stream at work) but it was clearly offside and the Univision announcers didn’t seem to be arguing, they pulled up the little highlight graphic and showed his position. Was ESPN debating the call?


      • Posted by Hercules3076 on 2010/06/11 at 8:00 AM

        Yes, they were. But the call was right.

        There is the assumption that the goalie always counts as one of the two.


        • True, for simplicity I often refer to being even with “the last defender” when explaining the rule. But that is absolutely the correct call, surprised we’re hearing any debate.


  15. Posted by Jennifer on 2010/06/11 at 7:47 AM

    If you switch the goalie and defender on that play, wouldn’t he have been offsides?


    • Posted by BW on 2010/06/11 at 7:49 AM

      yes! need two players….this is an (obviously) little known intricacy b/c most times the goalie counts as the second defender


      • Posted by Jennifer on 2010/06/11 at 7:52 AM

        I thought so, but the commentators where confusing me. It’s been a few years since I last reffed(sp?). The goalie became the 2nd to last defender there.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/11 at 8:34 AM

          Why Vela allowed himself to be offside when he was looking along the line is the question that people should be asking.


    • Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/06/11 at 7:53 AM

      Fantastic stuff BW…i had no idea and i’ve been offside millions of times! Well actually i knew you needed two players but as always one assumes the keeper is one of them. In this case the keeper was close but he was beyond Vela.


  16. Agreed. The offside call washing out the goal for Mexico was close, but it was a reasaonable judgment by the linesman.


  17. Posted by Jennifer on 2010/06/11 at 8:16 AM

    GOAL SA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  18. Tshabalala is the real deal. Nice finish from the Kaizer Chiefs man.


  19. Posted by John on 2010/06/11 at 8:17 AM

    Wow. That guy will never have to buy a beer again in his life.


  20. Posted by Jennifer on 2010/06/11 at 8:18 AM

    That was a beautiful goal.


  21. Posted by John on 2010/06/11 at 8:29 AM

    Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere comes blanco!


  22. Posted by Claire and Jen on 2010/06/11 at 8:31 AM

    I can’t tell: are Mexico’s passes shitty or is South Africa just a lot faster?


  23. Mexico are desperately in need of a set piece.


  24. Marquez levels….sweet. Never count out CONCACAF.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/11 at 8:45 AM

      With the chances Mexico had in the 1st half, this game should be over. They should be closing it out, rather than looking for a winner.


  25. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/11 at 8:42 AM

    Uh Blanco’s nickname is Tummi Gummi, not Jabba the Hutt Shaun. :>


  26. Blanco the Hutt?


  27. Nice control touch by young Hernandez there.


  28. Posted by Jennifer on 2010/06/11 at 8:52 AM

    holy crap. bad post


  29. Posted by Jennifer on 2010/06/11 at 8:53 AM

    the ref needs to end this before mexico score


  30. A fair result.


  31. Posted by Jennifer on 2010/06/11 at 8:56 AM

    Great game, much better 2nd half by SA, excluding the bad defending on the goal. Man of the Match needs to be the SA keeper Khune. Stop some sure Mexican goals.


  32. has named Tshabalala man of the match.


  33. Great job overall by the officials (from what I saw), let’s hope we see this quality of game called throughout the tournament.


  34. Posted by John on 2010/06/11 at 9:05 AM

    All things considered, a great result for South Africa and (given the atmosphere) a decent result for Mexico.

    The best result for SA in the group A second game would be a draw?


  35. Posted by LarryMontanez on 2010/06/11 at 9:14 AM

    The worst part of the whole game was the dispassionate announcing. someone please breathe some life into the game! you’re not going to win US fans over to the beautiful game if you call it like a tennis match. where’s ray hudson when we need him most


    • Posted by Tom M on 2010/06/11 at 9:26 AM

      An announcer screaming and yelling isn’t going to sway people one way or another. Either you like the game or don’t. I don’t need an announcer to get me into the game. Granted Hudson can be amusing but it gets wearying to me after awhile. His passion is unquestioned though.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/11 at 9:40 AM

        Personally, I’d prefer intelligent comentary over passionate commentary. Nothing winds me up more than when the commentator or analyst spout utter bollocks. Obviously, in a perfect world you’d want both, but perhaps that’s being a little greedy…


        • Posted by Tom M on 2010/06/11 at 9:50 AM



        • Posted by LarryMontanez on 2010/06/11 at 10:07 AM

          i agree. i prefer intelligence over passion as well, but the casual fan, who we’re trying to win over here, needs more than that. One of the best things ESPN did for TV sports was add a little humor to it, humor that the true sports fan understands, and the casual sports fan can also appreciate and learn from. i don’t mean i want to hear screaming. i want to hear the type of announcing you get when you watch EPL games, where they assume the viewer understands some subtleties of the game. i just want them to start announcing the games like you would expect from baseball and american football announcers.


        • Posted by CJ on 2010/06/11 at 10:26 AM

          Speaking of good commentary, anybody watch the NBA finals last night? The guys were hilarious!! On one cut away to the luxury seats the camera did a prolong shot of a group of guys (don’t remember who) and they all assumed the camera would quickly cut away so one of them pretends to take a 30 second sip of water!! HA HA HA it was awesome, the commentators were joking about how he must be dying of dehydration or something like that. I think that’s what we’re all looking for. Intelligent play calling accentuated by a composed entertainer, someone used to pleasing the ears on a mic.


        • They’ve been doing that for 20 years. More Marty Tyler please. Harkesy was a lot less idiotic than he is when its the US playing. Didn’t have much to say really.


        • Posted by Kevin on 2010/06/11 at 11:26 AM

          In a perfect world you would have Martin Tyler and Ray Hudson in the same booth


  36. What a glorious thing the World Cup is!

    Great atmosphere down the street here at lucky bar. I have a mild case of tinnitus.


  37. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/06/11 at 10:16 PM

    How Epic was that celebration? I’ve watched it about 20 times now and now I can do it in my sleep


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