Bafana Bafana might have lost last night to Uruguay in a 3 – 0 thrashing (let’s be realistic about it).
Here are some of my thoughts on the game:
Bafana never really turned up on the night. They were slow, they never moved forward and they refuse to use their wide-open wings to push the midfield forward. But hey, that’s just my thoughts. We didn’t deserve to win that game and we made Uruguay look good.
The referee – is, well, a referee and this is soccer, this is the beautiful game and there is always going to be a controversy for one team or another. This time it happens to be our team and it sucks. Most of all it sucks for our incredible goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune who in no way deserves the punishment he is going through. Khune played out of his boots against Mexico and Uruguay and really got a raw deal. However, let me say this as clearly as possible; The referee had nothing to do with South Africa losing to Uruguay. You need to score goals to win a soccer match and you can’t score goals from your own half for 90 minutes. We lost because we didn’t play well.
Uruguay played South Africa in to a corner. They were driven, they pushed forward, they made space (which SA gave them) and they took shots on goal. They also scored the first goal which is imperative for a mental advantage. South Africa’s lack of international experience on a major scale showed here, we were a goal down and we couldn’t get our heads out of that framework. We beat ourselves after that first goal.
Plus, Forlan is brilliant. Enough said there.
But let me follow all of this criticism up with the following:
Bafana Bafana make me proud. I cannot even begin to fathom the weight that those players feel on their shoulders; host nation, one of the lowest ranked teams in the World Cup this year, they have records to maintain (such as trying not to be the first host nation not to make it past the first stage of a World Cup) and they have their pride above all. I do not envy their position. When they win they are our heroes and when they lose fans leave the stadium early.
ASIDE – the fans at Loftus who left the stadium early; I am hoping they left to avoid traffic and if Bafana were winning they would have left anyways at that time (a bit of a dream, but still). I was honestly insulted by their lack of respect for a team that is playing their hearts out for the nation. Disgusting.
Now on to South Africa and how we can still win. It’s simple: Be great hosts, don’t be bitter losers and make this World Cup one to remember for every single individual who has traveled to our beautiful nation.
We have still gained so much by hosting the Fifa World Cup 2010. Whether or not Bafana goes through to the next round they have done us proud by simply competing at a level that no one had previously even expected. We drew to Mexico who sit at #17 on the FIFA world rankings. Bafana sit at 83rd on the rankings, so let’s be realistic (yes this is me being realistic) about the outcomes of this World Cup for Bafana; we were probably never going to win it. Ever. Participating at the top level of global football is an achievement that we were only granted as the hosts of this World Cup. Our boys are doing us proud and we should hold our heads high.
There is more football to be played. There are more games to be watched and there many other African nations and underdogs that we can put our weight behind. I’m personally routing for the Ivory Coast to pull in some magic and get through to the next round and I’m hoping that Cameroon can pull together and show the world their class.
Bring on the next 20 or so days left of the biggest sporting event in the world. It’s going to be a blast that we will probably never in our lifetimes see again in South Africa. So let’s make it worth our while and enjoy it.
- Bafana exits the World Cup in a rising fireball
- Bafana pull a nation together
- Bafana Bafana makes me a proud South African
- Boks win, Bafana through and Proteas… they still lost.
- Bafana Bafana wash the All-Whites
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