Host South Africa, Mexico Tie 1-1 in World Cup Opener

Peter Howard: A great effort from the host nation. It looked like Mexico would be able to run away to a 4-0 win the way the two teams played in the opening 15-20 minutes. South Africa completely turned it around, and boy did they look like they could make something happen off those corner kicks late in the first. South Africa should be pleased with the draw, and Mexico is no doubt now feeling some pressure to find its way out of group stage. Moral of the story here: the host nation just does not lose in the opener!

Alex Michaels: Great comment from ITV’s new presenter Adrian Chiles, whom they have just paid a fortune to switch from the BBC to present their World Cup coverage, as he openly admitted immediately after the match in his first post-match on-air moment that he missed the first goal South Africa scored because he “was in the gents”. Now, you won’t here that on ESPN! Impressive opener to the WC, more because of the bad defending leading to so many opportunities, and two good goals to kick us off with. Great officiating though, hope it continues.

Frank Finnegan: Wonderful start to the tournament. After really looking outclassed in the opening quarter of an hour, South Africa looked like a squad to be reckoned with. The defense was still sloppy at times, but were bailed out by some great saves by Khune. The celebration after South Africa’s goal was everything I imagined it would be – what a moment. And they really had some great chances at a 2nd – I felt they had a pretty good argument for a penalty there too which could have made it 2-0 and sealed the deal. I was watching a Japanese feed, so I still don’t understand the offside call on Mexico on the 1st half goal. So these things even out. And how about that ball that hit the post in the 90th minute? I cannot even imagine the reaction if that had gone in. Very good result for South Africa, though they’ll feel they really had chances to win it. My “Group of Draws” if off to the start I expected.

South Africa 1 – Mexico 1
RSA – Tshabalala 55′
MEX – Marquez 79′

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