An ‘African’ World Cup?

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Kuti, Masekela at WC Opening

I left the office early Friday afternoon and got home just in time for the opening ceremony. While it wasn’t as spectacular as the South Korea show of 2002, it was something. I loved the line-up of African musicians like Hugh Masekela, TKZee and Femi Kuti (although Yahoo! wrongly reported it was Femi’s late father Fela who performed…wtf) and the focus on South African dancing, emphasising that this is an ‘African World Cup’ in the words of Zuma.

The kick-off game got interesting in the second half, with South African Tshabalala getting one in in the 53rd minute! I was elated, until Mexico equalised towards the end and I knew it was going to be a draw. Still, not a bad start for Africa.

Nigeria‘s Super Eagles put up a stunning defence against Argentina, coached by eccentric legend Maradona (very interesting his facial expressions during the match!) and conceded only 1 goal to these footie greats. I will be watching Enyeama more closely – he is the most impressive African goalie so far.

Algeria has been the most disappointing thus far; featuring some catastrophic goalkeeping from Chaouchi who let the ball bounce off his chest and into the net just 12 minutes to the game’s end – putting Slovenia ahead of Algeria in the group.

Ghana offers the greatest hope so far, beating Serbia 1-0 thanks to Assamoah Gyan’s beautiful penalty kick which sent the goalie the wrong way; and also thanks to the fact that the Serbs were one man down after Lukovic was sent off.

The performance of Cameroon against Japan  (today, 5pm) and Cote d’Ivoire against Portugal (tomorrow, 5pm) remains to be seen. Thus far overall, we haven’t done too badly for ourselves, methinks 🙂 It’s been a footie weekend of surprises, so who knows? Allons, Lions! Allons, les Elephants!!

Personal highlights:

  • The very first goal of the FIFA 2010 coming from an African team;
  • The buzz of 60,000 vuvuzelas when that goal was scored;
  • Enyeama’s goalkeeping;
  • England keeper Green’s colossal screw-up allowing USA a draw;
  • Successfully convincing some of my non-football-loving friends to sit down and watch a match 🙂

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3 responses »

  1. Woke up a couple of hours ago, turned on the telly to watch whatever game was on while having breakfast, only to realize that Japan was up 1-nil against Cameroon. Definitely not a scoreline I imagined, but then again, I remembered that this is the same Japan team that made England look very ordinary in a labored 2-1 win for England !!!

    I hope Ivory Coast open up a whole lot better.

  2. Man, those Japanese were not kidding!! I was really disappointed that Eto’o didnt bring his A game… and where the hell was Song?! Ah well… watching Ivory Coast keenly. Fingers crossed 🙂

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