Boom. Luis Suarez scored at the end of first half and suddenly the game between South Africa and France became open. Both of them had the chance to qualify now.
Before this happened, Bafana Bafana had already done the only thing they could still do – go out and perform and try. For their fans, country, honor and the sheer chance that was still there. Boom. Boom. A header set them ahead of France and energized by the sudden red card on France and what this opportunity meant, they continued to push forward. Boom. Another goal. Was this going to be it for the host nation?
With an equalizer from Malouda, the goal differential became South Africa’s foe and for the first time, the host nation did not qualify for the next round in a World Cup. But Bafana Bafana exited with some honor regained.
Then it was time for Argentina and Greece, and South Korea and Nigeria, all with the potential to qualify for the nect round. Argentina, who rested a bunch of their stars, still wanted three wins out of three games and pushed forward. With quick passes and high tempo they just seemed to be one number too big for Greece, who wasn’t without chances throughout the match. But as the entire Greek team only completed one more pass than Juan Sebastian Veron this evening, the Argentinean side showed to be too overwhelming.
Then the Super Eagles were determined to do the impossible: lose their first two games but take their shot to qualify (don’t tell that to Chile who has won their two first games and are on top of their group but could still be eliminated in group stages – now if that’s not football, what is?)
With Argentina’s 2-0 goal lead and their 2-2 against South Korea, the chance to advance was suddenly there. And even more suddenly – the goal-chance was, literally there, wide open like a customized one-way street into the goal. But, somehow the ball was kicked outside the post, avoiding the gaping goal. So, so close for the Super Eagles but congrats to the Taeguk Warriors, the Asian Tigers for advancing to the knock out stages and are headed to Port Elizabeth.
First day of the final matches and one word summary: DRAMA. Let’s hope for more tomorrow with an exception of two games. PUMAFootball wouldn’t mind to see our beloved Africa, with Algeria and Ghana in particular achieve amazing. Go Desert Foxes! Go Black Stars!