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  • Date: Fri 11 June 2010
  • Venue: Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
  • Ref: Irmatov, R
  • Attendance: 83,548
South Africa

South Africa

Tshabalala (55)

1 - 1
Mexico

Mexico

Marquez (79)

South Africa vs Mexico

Team Lineups

South Africa

Itumeleng Khune
Siboniso Gaxa
Aaron Mokoena
Lucas Thwala (Tsepo Masilela, 46)
Bongani Khumalo
Siphiwe Tshabalala
Steven Pienaar (Bernard Parker, 83)
Teko Modise
Reneilwe Letsholonyane
Kagisho Dikgacoi
Katlego Mphela

Mexico

Oscar Perez
Francisco Rodriguez
Carlos Salcido
Rafael Marquez
Ricardo Osorio
Paul Aguilar (Andres Guardado, 55)
Efrain Juarez
Gerardo Torrado
Dos Santos Giovani
Luis Guillermo Franco (Balcazar Javier Hernandez, 73)
Carlos Alberto Vela (Cuauhtemoc Blanco, 69)

Match Report
Rafael Marquez rescued a point for Mexico as Javier Aguirre's side hit back to draw 1-1 with hosts South Africa in an entertaining opening game in the 2010 World Cup. Such was Mexico's dominance of the first half that they should really have won the match with something to spare but Bafana Bafana edged the second period and appeared to be heading for a famous victory when Siphiwe Tshabalala gave them the lead with a great strike. However, Barcelona star Marquez slotted home a late equaliser to ensure the points were shared. In an extremely one-sided opening to the match, Mexico almost grabbed a dramatic early breakthrough when South Africa goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune could only parry a cross straight to Giovani dos Santos. However, before the Tottenham midfielder could get a shot away, Aaron Mokoena was able to make a timely intervention. Giovani, despite fading in the second half, was the star of the show, pulling the strings for Mexico and cutting the hosts' defence to shreds time and time again. In the 19th minute he surged through the heart of the South Africa defence before lashing his shot wide before Mexico created the first clear-cut opening of the match just past the half-hour mark. A patient build-up ended with Guillermo Franco taking the ball on his chest and getting in a shot that Khune did well to block with his right arm. Carlos Vela then wasted a fine opening before having an effort rightly ruled out for offside before Franco got his head to Giovani's curling free-kick only for the former West Ham striker to loop the ball over the bar when he should really have scored. South Africa finally came to life just before half time and almost broke the deadlock when Katlego Mphela narrowly failed to get his head to Tshabalala's teasing cross with keeper Oscar Perez stranded. South Africa were far better after the break following Parreira's decision to bring Tsepo Masilela on for Lucas Thwala at left-back. The change frustrated Mexico who seemed incapable of finding the space which they had created at will in the first 45 minutes. Despite their lovely approach play they struggled to find a cutting edge and were made to pay for their first-half misses when South Africa took the lead ten minutes into the second half with a superb goal. Clever interplay allowed Kaizer Chiefs star Tshabalala to surge forward and he lashed an unstoppable shot past the static Perez. Although Giovani powered in a left-footed drive that forced Khune to make a smart stop, Mexico were left shell-shocked by the goal and struggled to create any openings until poor defending allowed them to equalise with only 11 minutes left. Bafana Bafana got caught out at a short corner routine and, when the cross came in, an unmarked Marquez was able to control the ball before ramming it home. Both teams pressed for a winner in the closing stages but it was South Africa that came closest to grabbing one when, in stoppage time, Mphela raced on to a long ball forward and managed to get in a shot that beat Perez only to come back off the post.
Live Text Commentary
Full time
 

Full Time: SOUTH AFRICA 1-1 MEXICO.

90

A draw is just about the right result. Mexico dominated the first half but South Africa edged the second period and created the better chances. It's been an entertaining opening game though.

90

South Africa are so close to a winner. Mphela races on to a long ball forward and manages to get in a shot that beats Perez only to come back off the post.

88

Blanco may be 37 but he still has the skill as he whips in a dangerous cross that no team-mate can latch on to.

86

Reneilwe Letsholonyane is lucky not be booked for a weary challenge as South Africa hang on for the draw.

84

The hosts look tired while Mexico sense a winner.

83
Substitution
 

South Africa make a second change as Pienaar is replaced by Bernard Parker.

81

South Africa could be hanging on for a draw now as the Mexicans have been revitalised by that goal.

79
Goal
 

SOUTH AFRICA 1-1 MEXICO. South Africa get caught cold at a short corner. Poor marking leaves three Mexicans unmarked and it is MARQUEZ who has the simple task of ramming the ball home at the far post.

78

At last Mexico earn a corner. They desperately need to make this count.

77

Mexico have nowhere to go when they're attacking. South Africa's transformation in the second half has been remarkable.

75

South Africa are showing no sign of crumbling, indeed they are looking the more likely side to score.

73
Substitution
 

Mexico make their final change with Javier Hernandez replacing Franco.

72

South Africa are much tighter now with Mexico struggling to build up any momentum.

70
Yellow Card
 

Tsepo Masilela is rightly booked for a very rash challenge.

69
Substitution
 

The ineffective Vela is replaced by veteran striker Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

68

Nothing from Mexico at all so they decide to make a change.

66

South Africa look comfortable with the Mexicans looking to Giovani for inspiration. He's not providing any at the moment.

64

Still no sign of life from Mexico, they must really be rueing all those waste first-half chances.

62

Mexico look a little shell-shocked and the hosts appear in control of the match at this stage.

60

The brilliant Giovani powers in a left-footed drive that forces Khune to make a smart stop.

59

Mexico try to hit back but will be shocked at going behind after being so much on top for most of the first half.

57
Yellow Card
 

A frustrated Gerardo Torrado is booked for a blatant body-check.

55
Substitution
 

Mexico respond to going a goal behind by bringing on Andres Guardado for Aguilar.

55
Goal
 

SOUTH AFRICA 1-0 MEXICO. Mexico are caught short at the back allowing TSHABALALA to race down the left before lashing an unstoppable shot home.

55

Indeed Mexico have many of the same traits as Arsenal. Lovely approach play and a determination to score the perfect goal rather than net ugly.

54

Giovani is the best player on the pitch but too many of his team-mates don't seem to be on the same wavelength.

52

There's a great deal to enjoy about this game but both sides lack a cutting edge.

50

South Africa have started the second half very brightly. Some of their passing moves are breathtaking but still no end-product from either side as yet.

49

Tshabalala whips in another cross and Masilela has to be at his best to turn it away from danger.

48

Much of Mexico's attacking threat came down that flank so it is an astute piece of thinking by the Bafana Bafana coach.

46
Substitution
 

Parreira has made a change at left-back for the second half with Lucas Thwala making way for Tsepo Masilela.

Second half
 

South Africa get the second half underway.

Half time
 

Half Time: SOUTH AFRICA 0-0 MEXICO.

43

South Africa are ending the half strongly as Katlego Mphela just fails to get his head to Siphiwe Tshabalala's teasing cross with Perez stranded.

42

Perez comes for a corner but fails to claim it. The Mexico keeper has looked weak in the few times he has been called upon.

40

Another Mexico chance. Franco gets his head to Giovani's curling free-kick but the former West Ham striker loops the ball over the bar when he should really have scored.

38

Mexico have the ball in the back of the net but Vela's effort is rightly ruled out for offside. Terrible marking at the corner by the hosts though.

37

Vela and Franco combine to set up Giovani whose left-footed shot is deflected away for a corner.

36

Mexico are stepping up the pace again - they should really be at least one goal ahead on the balance of play.

34

Mexico fashion another great opening but Carlos Alberto Vela's ball in from the right is neither a shot nor a cross and the opportunity is wasted.

32

Best chance so far. A patient build-up by Mexico ends with Luis Guillermo Franco taking the ball on his chest and getting in a shot that Khune blocks with his right arm.

30

After making a horrendous start to the match, South Africa are now edging things territorially.

28

They'll be blaming the new ball soon as Rafael Marquez's free-kick sails over the crossbar.

27
Yellow Card
 

Kagisho Dikgacoi trips the excellent Giovani and is booked for his troubles.

26

It's a much more even affair now with a good tempo to the match although clear-cut chances remain at a premium.

24

Oscar Perez fumbles a low cross but is able to gather the ball before it crosses the line. Better by Bafana Bafana though.

23

South Africa are playing some good stuff now with Pienaar at the hub of most of their good work.

21

Khune claims Paul Aguilar's hanging cross well. The keeper has looked steady since his second-minute clanger.

19

The resulting free-kick is easily cleared by Mexico and, when they break, Giovani surges through the heart of the South Africa defence before lashing his shot wide.

18
Yellow Card
 

Efrain Juarez is somewhat unfortunate to be the first player of the tournament to be booked, for handball.

17

Pienaar takes it but the ball flies way, way over the bar.

16

Good move by South Africa, their best of the match so far, ends with them winning a free-kick 30 yards out but central.

14

Giovani is still pulling all the strings. Harry Redknapp will be watching with interest after sending the Mexican out on loan this season.

12

The game finally settles down with Mexico slowing the pace of the match down after their early onslaught.

10

Mexico will be keen to make the breakthrough while they are so much in the ascendancy.

9

Steven Pienaar is hacked down in midfield as South Africa try to settle. They look out of their depth so far though.

8

Mexico are first to every ball whilel South Africa are chasing shadows.

6

Desperate, desperate defending by South Africa. Giovani is behind everything good that is coming from Mexico in the opening minutes.

4

It's been a very nervy start by the hosts as they only just survive another goalmouth scramble.

2

Mexico almost grab a dramatic early breakthrough, Itumeleng Khune parries a cross straight to Giovani dos Santos only for Aaron Mokoena to make a timely intervention.

1
Kickoff
 

After all the pre-match pleasantries, and there were a lot of them, Mexico get the match and the World Cup underway.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Mexico recovered from Sven-Goran Eriksson's dire spell in charge to qualify for these finals and will be confident of progressing from Group A and going on to match their record in 1970 and 1986 when they reached the last eight.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Carlos Alberto Parreira has revived South Africa's fortunes and they go into this match in good heart despite their dismal performances at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

It promises to be an exciting opening game with the Bafana Bafana, tipped to be group embarrassments until embarking on a 13-match unbeaten run recently, take on a Mexico side that beat Italy 2-1 earlier this month.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

At last, 33 long days since the last round of Premier League fixtures, the World Cup is upon us with hosts South Africa taking on Mexico at Soccer City in Johannesburg.