Tsha­bal­ala hits open­ing goal of World Cup

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport -

SOUTH AFRICA .................... 1 MEX­ICO ................................ 1

(Soc­cer City, Jo­han­nes­burg) HOST nation South Africa couldn’t fol­low in the foot­steps of Cameroon and Sene­gal by pro­vid­ing an open­ing-match shock.

Cameroon fa­mously up­set hold­ers Ar­gentina in the 1990 cur­tain-raiser and Sene­gal burst the bub­ble of reign­ing cham­pi­ons France in the Far East eight years ago.

The Bafana Bafana were sec­ond-best through­out against the Mex­i­cans, but still found them­selves clos­ing in on a fairy­tale vic­tory.

Siphiwe Tsha­bal­ala broke the deadlock with a stun­ning 55th minute fin­ish and they looked on course to tri­umph un­til Barcelona man Rafael Mar­quez lev­elled 12 min­utes from time.

He con­trolled An­dres Guardado’s cross at the back post and ri­fled past keeper Itume­leng Khune to en­sure the spoils were shared.

Mex­ico breathed a late sigh of re­lief when South African front­man Katlego Mphela fired against a post, but they should have claimed max­i­mum points.

For­mer West Ham striker Guillermo Franco planted a free header wide and then had an­other ex­cel­lent chance saved by Khune dur­ing the first pe­riod be­fore Arse­nal’s Car­los Vela saw a 37th minute ‘goal’ cor­rectly ruled out for off­side.

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