Sportsball (World Cup 2010), Matchday One

It’s an odd start to the tournament. Two draws, and only two goals. On paper, that’s a terrible way to start the greatest show on earth and an awful advertisement for the first African World Cup. But, the results are more the meets the eye.

South Africa 1-1 Mexico

Holy crap, Soccer City is loud. I will not, like so many others, spend the next month complaining about the Vuvuzelas. I will say it once: they’re annoying, and detract from the viewing experience. They should have been banned, like they are from SA rugby games, and we all would have been a lot happier. Forget your arguments about creating an African atmosphere. It’s a drone, and an ongoing, never fluctuating, drone. Even when South Africa scored, the drone kept it’s volume steady.

Anyway, the match was actually pretty good. Tension filled, especially as we got closer to 90 without a goal. SA’s was a thing of a beauty, nice one to open the World Cup tally with.

However, Mexico were the better team and deserved a draw. South Africa’s defence was absolutely terrible and they can thank their keeper, Itumeleng Khune, because if it wasn’t for him they would have lost and lost bad. South Africa needs to realise that the offside trap only works when your back-four are coordinated enough to implement it.

France 0-0 Uruguay

Not a great game. Scrappy, few chances. Both teams had the opportunity to score and both botched horribly. Diego Forlan needs to pick it up bigtime. Uruguay rely so much on him, that if he’s not delivering the goods, they are royally screwed.

France, a very meh team. No real standout presence and the new formation is all over the place. Strike force, very poor. Henry, to the delight of four million of my countrymen, suffered a small measure of karma revenge here, having a debatable handball claim turned down right near the end. Kudos goes to the American commentators I was listening too:

“Stop crying. Come on, Henry. You know what a handball looks like. That wasn’t a handball.”

To my regret, I failed to catch their names or the network, so if someone could help me out with that, I’d be appreciative.

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