By Rob Deyzel
Saturday in Nakulabye, Kampala drinking a beer and watching the 2 teams come out on the pitch was admittedly an emotional occasion for me. Surrounded by Ugandans who have dreamed of an African world cup couldn’t quite believe it was here for the world to see. To be honest nor could I. What a reception those 22 players received.
Photo from fOTOGLIF
Now the game was somewhat frantic. Bafana Bafana seemed perhaps lost in the moment in the opening minutes and were lucky not to concede on a number of occasions in the first 20 minutes. Yet SA calmed their nerves and settled into the game. Dos Santos for Mexico is well worth a mention. He certainly did not look like a spurs reject, and he had a number of good efforts on goal.
The second half was just what SA needed. They seemed relaxed in the opening exchanges, although Mexico still were more dangerous. Then the defining moment came! Tshabalala received the ball after a sleek counter attack and rifled the ball in the top of the net. Hysteria in the stands and hysteria in my football shack really signaled how Africa feels about this event. Sadly hearts were broken 10 minutes from the end when Barca Marquez slotted the ball home after some sloppy defending.
The final whistle went and not before SA nearly had a fairy tail ending after hitting the post in the last minute. But all in all most definitely a success so far. Bafana Bafana still have a chance to qualify, and I believe the spirit of the occasion won over.