Wednesday, June 23, 2010


The team drew its first game with Mexico, lost the second to Uruguay and won against the mighty France in fashionable style but in the end, it was just not good enough.

Well, that is the story of South Africa, the host nation of the 19th World Cup soccer tournament.

Every single player of the Bafana Bafana team played their hearts out. They ran the whole length of the field, distributed the ball efficiently and outfoxed the French megastars. It was sheer joy to watch the crispy and fluid brand of soccer orchestrated by Pienaar in midfield.

Mokoena as captain marshalled his defence solidly at the back, apart from that few seconds lull penalised by Malouda for the French only goal.

South Africa created lots and lots of scoring opportunities. Alas, only two of those opportunities were converted. Had the players been more composed and converted three more goals from the abundant opportunities created, South Africa would have been through to the second round instead of Mexico who lost by a single goal to Uruguay.

Still, all the South African players should be proud of their performances unlike those French players who presumably must have left their hearts and souls at home.

South Africa might have tumbled out of the World Cup but their gritty displays in this tournament have surely won them many friends round the world. The team has shown the world that with good teamwork, high spirit and cohesiveness, a former world champion like France can be put to shame.

There is much to rejoice and hope South African soccer. The future is indeed bright as a solid foundation has already been put in place during this tournament.

With more exposure and more experience playing at bigger and more competitive leagues, players like Mshabalala, Mphela, Sibaya, Khuboni and Josephs can further improve and become more resilient and focus.

Steven Pienaar would not be a polished and effective player as he is now if not for the experience accumulated playing in a tough league like the EPL with Everton FC.

South Africa would be a force to reckon with in the near future for soccer as the game of passion is a great tool of unity for diversity.


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