world cup 2010 – day 1: hosts get a draw, france held

Big Grin

Approximately 1433 days after Fabio Cannavaro lifted the coveted World Cup by beating France 5-3 on penalties (1-1 after full-time and extra time), the ball started rolling again in the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, when the host nation, South Africa and Mexico battled it out in Group A. After a goalless first-half, the match exploded into action when Siphiwe Tshabalala (55’) unleashed an unstoppable left footer past the Mexican goalkeeper, towards the opposite corner. South African hearts everywhere however, were left frustrated, when Rafael Marquez (79’), was left with only the goalkeeper to beat, leaving him the easiest task to put the ball into the goal, and the 1-1 score remain till the end.

The second match of the day was from the remaining teams in Group A, between 2-time World Champions Uruguay, and 1998 Champions France in Green Point Stadium, Cape Town. In a match where the winner will take the early initiative to progress to the next round, it was surprisingly less enterprising compared to the first. Both teams seemed unable to convert their chances, turning the match into a scrappy affair. France, with an abundance of talents in their side, but beset with problems off-field which hampered their preparation for this tournament, were looking like an abject side, lacking the ideas. Even after Nicolas Lodeiro was sent off in the 81st minute, the French couldn’t find the net, and the score remain goalless, making the battle very open indeed in Group A.

11 June 2010
Group A
RSA 1 v MEX 1
URU 0 v FRA 0

Group A Standings

Pld W D L F A Pts
South Africa 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
Mexico 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
Uruguay 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
France 1 0 1 0 0 0 1

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