World Cup: Mexico v. South Africa

FINAL - South Africa 1, Mexico 1. Overall, lousy game. One great goal by South Africa.

Minute 89 - Mexico's keeper again looks bad as South Africa hits the post. 3 minutes of extra time.

Minute 78 - Mexico equalizes. Marquez. 3 Mexican players were open. Monumental defensive breakdown for South Africa. El Tri looks like it will escape disaster.

Minute 54 - Fantastic goal by South Africa. Golazo! Completely against the run of play. That's association football for you.

The tragic news that Nelson Mandela's great-granddaughter died in an auto accident last night has put a damper on the opening game of the World Cup in South Africa. Mandela's highly anticipated pre-game appearance of course will not take place now.

The show must go on. South Africa will play Mexico in the opening game. I expect Mexico to win the game.

Live blog below the fold.

Bad start to my live blog as I missed the starting lineups. But I stole this from another site: "defender Matthew Booth, SA's only white player and a fan favorite, will begin the tournament as a substitute. Captain Aaron Mokoena will anchor the defense, with many hopes for offense resting on the feet of forward Siphiwe Thabalala and midfielder Steven Pienaar, who is the team’s best player. Twenty-two-year old Itumeleng Khune gets the start in goal." "On the other side of the ball, Mexico begins with Giovani Dos Santos and Guillermo Franco up front instead of Javier Hernandez. Defender Rafael Marquez, is likely to start attacks with captain Gerardo Torrado holding down the midfield. Veteran Oscar Perez, who’s been hot of late, gets the nod in goal over Guillermo Ochoa."

Mexico off to a strong start looking dangerous from the first minute.

Risky challenge by the South African left back. Then a dangerous corner chance.

Judging from the first 15 minutes, South Africa can't win and it will take a ton of luck to manage a draw.

Home cooking on that obvious dive from the South African player. Dangerous free kick. But skied over the top.

Sheesh, a yellow card for that? The officiating is clearly going to be South Africa friendly. They just seem to have no chance of benefitting from it.

South Africa just looks terrible frankly.

SA has a decent buildup but no skill at the end. The Mexican keeper looks shaky though.

At 26 minutes, Mexico looks the better team by far but their level of play is going down, sloppy in the back and not as threatening up front. A goal from SA would absolutely shock but increasingly s goal by Mexico will surprise.

Just a terrible game so far.

Franco for Mexico point blank -- can't finish. Made a nice play to control the ball but then should have done more with it imo. The TV commentators disagreed.

Vela with a nice shot, bounces off SA defender who saves a goal as the SA keeper was beaten.

Home cooking. A Mexican goal is ruled off on a terrible call.

Franco just over the top.

Mexican finishing is just bad right now.

South Africa looked slightly threatening for a moment at minute 41, but not really.

Nexican keeper looks Reeaaal shaky.

Great chance for SA at minute 43 off a great cross. Mexcian keeper again looks bad.

1 minute of extra time. Now halftime.

South Africa simply is not very good. But Mexico looks less and less impressive as time moves on.

In particular, Mexico's keeper looked very very shaky.

An awful half of soccer.

2nd Half.

South Africa made a change though I missed what it was.

Nice cross from SA at minute 48. They look a bit better now.

Minute 59, a rocket from dos Santos stopped by a great save by the SA keeper.

Mexico is 20 minutes away from World Cup disaster. A draw with South Africa would have been bad enough -- a loss is simply devastating.

South Africa will not beat anyone else in this tournament. Mexico would basically be dead after today if the result holds.

Can Javier Hernandez save the day?

A little over 15 minutes of regular time left.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Offside (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by JDB on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 09:56:07 AM EST
    I don't understand the howling about the offside call on the Mexican goal.  Here's what the law says:

    A player is in an offside position if:
    * he is nearer to his opponents' goal line than both the ball and the
    second last opponent

    To me, it looked like when the Mexican player put the ball in the net there was only one South African in front of him.  It wasn't the goalkeeper, but that doesn't matter in the analysis.  Maybe the Mexican player was even with the second last player (probably the keeper), but that's a different kettle of fish.

    It;'s not when he put it in the net (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:03:22 AM EST
    it's when the pass is made.

    true (none / 0) (#17)
    by CST on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:05:22 AM EST
    as I can't watch I can't tell.

    But if he has the ball he can be behind every player in the game.

    You need either 2 players or the ball in front of you.


    You're right . . . (none / 0) (#18)
    by JDB on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:06:54 AM EST
    . . . of course.  Going back with the TiVo it's certainly a close call.  But the ESPN guys (at least) seemed so upset because there was only one defender on the line, which is all that's required.

    My point is that if it's a blow call it's a garden variety one, not a clearly botched application of the rules.

    Besides, as a US fan, I just can't give the Mexicans the benefit of the doubt. :)


    The goal was correctly disallowed. (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by LatinoDC on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 09:56:56 AM EST
    The keeper was ahead of the player who received the ball.  The off-side rule says two players have to be in line with the forward (usually keeper plus one defender).  In this case there was only one defender.

    I thought the keeper was not out (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:02:44 AM EST
    UNTIL after the pass.

    The offside position can not be created after the pass.


    Yes, the position is judged when the ball leaves (none / 0) (#19)
    by LatinoDC on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:07:40 AM EST
    the foot of the passer.  Just saw the replay and the Mexican player has 3/4 of his body in off side.

    Half a body is the new interpretation (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:09:12 AM EST
    now right?

    Any part of the body that can play (none / 0) (#21)
    by LatinoDC on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:10:27 AM EST
    the ball.  That is, if the arms of the players are off side, it's still fair.

    Right (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:15:57 AM EST
    the non scoring half of the body -

    According to the decision of the IFAB, the only parts of an attacker that should be considered as being nearer to the goal line are those with which the attacker can legitimately score a goal. This excludes the hands and arms, but includes every other part of the body, including the knee (or tummy for less active footballers).


    but I think (none / 0) (#1)
    by Jen M on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 08:34:04 AM EST
    South Africa might have a teensie bit of a home court advantage! All of Africa. Yeah, even the fans of other African nations in the cup.

    Are you going to live blog the game? (none / 0) (#2)
    by LatinoDC on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 08:51:15 AM EST

    Yes (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 09:03:53 AM EST
    yuuuck (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jen M on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 09:09:22 AM EST
    mcdonalds banners :p

    6 fouls already? (none / 0) (#5)
    by CST on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 09:15:18 AM EST
    that's what espn's gamecast is telling me - not actually watching video though.

    This gamecast sh*t... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 09:39:39 AM EST
    leaves a lot to be desired...better than nothing I guess.

    Vamos El Tri!


    Can you listen to ESPN radio? (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 09:56:04 AM EST
    Nope... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:02:58 AM EST
    no sound capabilities in the cube...thank goodness USA vs. England is on a Saturday!

    S. Africa has a goal, BTW. (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:38:12 AM EST
    Yellow card (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jen M on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 09:33:05 AM EST
    I hope this cup doesn't rain yellow and red cards.

    Now that I have figured out which team is (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 09:55:29 AM EST
    which and the score is still 0-0, how to tell which is the better team?  (Univision and I do not understand Spanish.)

    Read the live blog, Oculus! (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:03:21 AM EST
    time of possession (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by CST on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:03:58 AM EST
    is usually a good indicator, but does not always result in a win.

    Generally though, the team that is controlling the ball has more chances to score.


    OK. Now watching ESPN. (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:12:28 AM EST
    Unless you are Inter and beat (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by LatinoDC on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:16:32 AM EST
    Bayern in CL final with 30% of posession. Italy plays the same way.

    Brazil vs Argentia 1990 (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by gaf on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 11:42:11 AM EST
    Round of 16 game.
    Brazil vs Argentina.
    Brazil totally dominates without scoring. Quite of few of their shots miss narrowly or hit the pole & bounce out. Argentina nowhere in the game.
    Score 0-0 after 80 minutes.
    All of a suddent the best player I have ever watched (Diego Armando Maradona) gets the ball from the middle, makes a few Brazil players look like school kids while taking the ball to near the goal. Passes to Claudio Cannigia who scores.

    Brazil who were favourites to win the 1990 world cup knocked out in the round of 16.

    Argentina playing with a very average team (except for Maradona) go all the way to final before losing to Germany 1-0.


    yea (none / 0) (#26)
    by CST on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:19:24 AM EST
    certainly no guarantees.  In a close game all it takes is one goal.  And for one goal all it takes is one break.

    time of possesion is one (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Jen M on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:10:44 AM EST
    How well they control the ball as a team when they do have it is another.

    The SFA goalie reminds me of Ozzie Smith. (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 10:23:25 AM EST

    Ever since I moved to the US (none / 0) (#29)
    by LatinoDC on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 11:02:05 AM EST
    I've heard the expression "against the run of play".  Can someone explain to me what this means plz?  It was def a mistake not to play Ochoa in goal for Mexico...

    Run of play (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by gaf on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 11:06:22 AM EST
    It's a regular football term, nothing to do with the US. It means against the flow of the term.

    Assume team A is dominating, have more ball possession, attacking more, spending more time in team B's half. Now out of the blue, Team A scores a goal - that's against the run of play.


    Oh I get it now. Thank you! (none / 0) (#31)
    by LatinoDC on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 11:21:20 AM EST
    I guess I should've said ever since I started reading/watching soccer in English.

    Tutoree thinks Mexico has a chance, (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 01:19:40 PM EST
    even after this game.  

    They'll have to beat (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 01:21:42 PM EST
    France or Uruguay and draw the other game.

    I expect South Africa to lose its next 2 games.


    "The Question: Why is the modern offside law (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 11, 2010 at 02:02:36 PM EST
    a work of genius"?  The Guardian