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Published: June 30th 2010
It is like being in a shopping mall when you are sitting in the stadium watching a game at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. You don’t know what the time is. It happened two games now, there are two small big screens but you can’t see anything. I am forced to squint to get an idea of how long to go. This time I didn’t want time to be over as Australia were all over the charmed tournament team Gharnia Forutus.
If you were to ask me the question before I left Australia; “If in the first two games your two best players ever to be produced in your country will be sent off would you go?” I’d have to think about it very hard.
The second game was in Rustenburg a city (?) in the middle of nowhere about 2 hours west of Johannesburg. On the way we pass townships and its marketplace. We passed a sign on the way saying ‘Hijack area 500m.’ That is along open plains, which eventually leads us to dodgy a looking city called Rustenburg.
The ground is about 15 mins out of town at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium. It would have to
be the most out of place stadium in World Cup history. It is actually owned by the Royal Bafokeng community. This community live in not much luxury so I don’t get how it can be done.
Because this is ‘Africa’s’ World Cup majority of locals were against us so the annoying Vuvuzela was to be anti Australia. (Although that is hard to distinguish.) We are hoping the vuvuzela crowd are only going to be in the early stages and the price is too much for them to go to the games later on.
Again I see walking by my old teammate from Under 17. I tell him shit we are not shaking our hands this time we have to try something different. So we hugged and hoped that this would be a better omen.
I take my seat on the back row of the 1st tier in line with the goal that would eventually see the turning point of the match. Above me is a huge concrete slab about a ¾ fist pump in the air up. In front of me are my two friends Danielle and Jared. To the left Michael and to the right some
Scarfs up for the anthem and we are off. Must win to have progression in our hands. A smaller ground about 38K and we actually had chants going. It felt like a soccer match. Than we scored! I jump up created just a half fist pump in the air space with the concrete slab above. I slam my fist on it drop my beer and made the most of it. I jump all over the row in front of me. Thought I was grabbing onto Michaels shoulder but in the excitement I was choking him with his scarf. If we don’t score again I can be happily say I enjoyed that moment.
Than… Worst-case scenario became even worse. It shouldn’t have got to the stage of a shot and than it hits mostly Kewell’s shoulder and the Italian prick of a ref calls penalty and worse still a red card. Un-bloody believable! It was if I was watching Parramatta in a Grand Final. Just when you think you are back in it something happens and back to square one.
From that moment on I lost my voice from a mixture of encouragement and abuse. Still
we could have won it, two clear cut chances missed. And a draw 1-1. Still means we have a chance but it is very slim. Instead it was a long trip home to Johannesburg. That is via a semi organised exit strategy via bus transfers to our car.
Thank Christ for Serbia’s result. As it stands we have to beat Serbia and hope either Germany pump Ghana. Or Gharnia Fructus can beat Germany meaning with our win we move to 4 points. I think a draw was a good result. I think the hug was a good omen there is no need to go any further if I see my ex teammate next game. Who am I kidding needed to win that one. 4-0 might bite us on the arse.
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