Day 1 Recap

100611) -- JOHANNESBURG, June 11, 2010 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's player Siphiwe Tshabalala celebrates a goal during a group A match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Mexico at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg, on June 11, 2010. The match ended with a 1-1 tie. (Xinhua/Guo Yong) (ljq.

Mexico 1 – South Africa 1

USA’s bitter rivals spent much of the game playing beautiful soccer but could only come up with one goal. Mexico – who line up in a 4-3-3 that turns into a 3-5-2 in attack – thought they had a 38th minute goal, but would-be goalscorer Carlos Vela was behind the second to last defender (who happened to be the keeper, causing confusion among the broadcasters) and was rightfully judged offside. The hosts, using a 4-4-1-1 with Steven Pienaar as a free-roaming center forward, were on their back foot until a 55th minute counterattack ended with Siphiwe Tshabalala scoring the tournament’s first goal. The upper ninety strike seemed to inspire the South Africans, who piled on not inconsiderable pressure for the next ten minutes. After being unable to again penetrate Mexico’s defense, Bafana Bafana seemed content to play out the draw. However, a mistake by captain Aaron Mokoena resulted in a Rafael Marquez goal: the skipper was the only defender who failed to step forward in an attempted offside trap, and Andres Guardado’s inswinging cross fell to Marquez a few yards from goal. The 79th minute tally gave both sides one point, a result as exciting for the South Africans as it is disappointing for the Mexicans.

Uruguay 0 – France 0

Like Mexico, Uruguay also use a flexible formation, but while they too play a nominal 3-5-2 in attack, their lineup includes a five-man backline when the opposition has the ball. Their defensive bent was more than enough to shut down France’s disappointing 4-2-3-1, resulting in a match with little imagination from either side. France attacked, Uruguay defended, and no one scored.

2 Comments Post a Comment
  1. bensten says:


    Game 1 – Khune, South Africa’s keeper.

    Game 2 – Uruguay’s 4/5 man backline.

    Typo FYI…Uruguay 0 France 0

    Tomorrow will be a beast of a day!

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