By Rob Deyzel
South Africa silenced a few critics on Tuesday afternoon with a convincing win against a strong but demoralised french side.
Bongani Khumalo and Katiego Mphela delighted Bafana fans putting SA two goals to the good up. However any chance of a miracle were squashed when Malouda scored, effectively ending SA chances of progressing.
Photo from fOTOGLIF
But Bafana Bafana going out of the competition wasn’t the end of the world. I agree that progression would have been great, yet SA fans have proved that whether or no SA are competing they will support the other matches. The fans have really won over and most games have seen full houses. President Zuma was correct in announcing that South Africa hosting the world cup was the biggest victory, and I am inclined to agree.
The game itself was no disappointment. In front of just under 40,000 fans in Bloemfontein, Tshabalala’s corner was nodded in by Khumalo to bundle the ball in with his shoulder. Instead of sitting back SA knowing three more goals were needed piled on the pressure. France had no answer and in due time Bafana were two goals up, thanks to Mphela converting Masilela’s far post cross. For a while the impossible seemed possible. However Malouda’s strike ended South Africa’s chances. The final whistle went leaving Bafana fans happy if not a little frustrated knowing they underperformed against Uruguay.
All in all SA probably perfomed a little better then most people believed outside of SA. Today Bafana Bafana may have one and exited the tournament, yet Bafana fans will still be heard all the way to the final.