It has been a great experience to be in South Africa during world cup. Even before the world cup started there where so many efforts to boost the whole cup. On Fridays everyone was wearing Bafana Bafana jerseys and shops where giving discounts to people with jerseys. Bafana Bafana was doing well in their friendlies before the world cup and people started to unite behind Bafana Bafana and many started to believe that maybe maybe Bafana Bafana as the South African national team is called could take the world by surprise. Against Mexico they took the lead with one of the best goals so far and the whole country went crazy, Mexico came back and the game ended in a draw. I tried to find a spot for watching the game at the big mall Waterfront close to the stadium where we were warming up for the France-Uruguay game. At every place with a tv there was crowds and I almost missed the whole game as there was no place that was not overcrowded.
France-Uruguay was not the most exciting game but a certain Forlan in Uruguay might give Ghana a headache in the quarter final as he showed a bit of his star qualities. It was however an amazing atmosphere and it was great to be able to watch a game live on the first day of the world cup.
Then me, Heidi and my sister Debbie drove to Port Elizabeth for the big game between Portugal and Ivory Coast. Heidi had got tickets for most of her family and there was a lot of excitement over being able to see Ronaldo against Drogba. To my surprise there was more support for Portugal than Ivory Coast in the stadium. Being in the same group as Brazil the game was extra important as the winner would probably qualify for the next round. Therefore also both teams were cautious and the game never met the high expectations as we did not get to see any goals. Heidi, her sister and friend supporting "wrong" team!
Next game to watch live was Germany-Serbia. After the Germans beating Australia 4-0 everyone where expecting another big beating but then the referee spoiled the German party by giving the big star Klose a red card. I supported the under dog in that game and could celebrate with a few crazy Serbian supporters.
We also paid two visits to the Fan Fest in Port Elizabeth for South Africa - Uruguay and for Slovenia - USA. In the game South Africa Uruguay there was a great atmosphere until the referee spoiled the game by giving a red card to the goal keeper while also giving away a penalty. Such a party pooper! In the USA game we got to see some nice fighting spirit from the Americans fighting back to get a draw after being down 2-0. At the Fan Fest we also met up with my Swedish friends Jessica and Nisse.
Back to Cape Town to see Portugal - North Korea. Korea had given Brazil a hard time in the first game and maybe they could give Portugal a decent game even though anything else than Portugal winning would be a big sensation. After 90 min the scoreboard showed 7-0 and I was grateful that I got to see the biggest score and probably the biggest show by a team so far in the World Cup. Portugal has a big support in South Africa for some reason and think people could hardly believe what they saw. When Ronaldo got to score the 6th goal the crowds got crazy!
Suddenly half of the world cup was still remaining and we were out of tickets. But there is always the fan parks... We went to see Bafana bafana aginst France, only a big victory could possibly help Bafana through to next round. Noone expected it but the crowds still came to the fan park to support their team. In half time score board was showing 2-0 and it could easily have been more than that as South Africa was playing great. But the challenge was to tough and Bafana was out. Was however nice to see that people were still celebrating their team who had made them proud.
Was sad to see the African teams kicked out one after another. Most of the teams played well but it was not enough. Enjoyed watching especially Nigeria but even Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Algeria and Bafana performed nice football to a large extent. There was however one team who still had the chance Ghana! Ghana who won the first game against Serbia and had a draw against Australia. In the last game against Germany it looked like they would need a draw as Serbia was expected to beat Australia. I was zapping between the channels like crazy to be able to watch both games to see if not Ghana could make it after all. Germany was up 1-0 and then the other game became really interesting could it be true that Australia is winning. Heart jumping and suddenly GHANA was through! Yeah at least one African team to carry the hope of the continent.
In Ghanas game Against USA in the round of 16 it felt like a 50-50 game. Ghana made the first goal and could relax a bit. US however came back once again and it looked like they might take it after all. The game went on to extra time and there it only took 3 min before Ghana scored! Some minutes later Ghana had made what only Senegal and Cameroon has managed before, they had reached a quarter final in the World Cup.
Can they make history and beat Uruguay in the quarter final? I think they can as the whole continent will be on their side!
Last couple of days I have tried to see if I can not get tickets for one of the big games still to be played in Cape Town Spain-Portugal or Argentina-Germany. Yesterday night when I checked suddenly there was some tickets available and yeah I got 2 tickets for Saturday game between Argentina-Germany (Apart from the upcoming final maybe the highlight of the whole World Cup)
So who will win the world cup?
It surely looks like Brazil will reach the final unless Robben manages to robb them in the quarter final. On the other half it is a bit more difficult to say. Argentina is the team that impressed me most so far, but first they need to beat Germany and then probably Spain so it will be tough but think they will make it to the final. So two south american teams in final and Messi will be the difference that helps Argentina to a victory. Ghana has already done more than anyone could have expected and hope to seem them in the semi final, but do not dare to be to optimistic about that.
Monday, 28 June 2010
Sunday, 27 June 2010
Posted by Marcus Duveskog at 18:17
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
After the 2-0 goal there was hope in the air. Eventually South Africa had to realize that world cup is over for Bafana Bafana but celebrations continued as they still unexpectedly managed to beat the strong French team.
Posted by Marcus Duveskog at 15:19
Monday, 21 June 2010
Amazing game! Was hoping North Korea would be able to steal a point from the Portuguese in order to help Ivory Coast and at the beginning it looked like the game could go to either side. Portugal had 1-0 in half time and it still felt like a fairly open game. In second half however Portugal gave us a show I will never forget as they kept finding the goal below where we were sitting. The question suddenly became will Ronaldo be able to score or will he have to leave the pitch once again without scoring for his national team. He got the sixth goal and the spectators who mostly cheered for Portugal went crazy. It was not the result I had hoped but the show and experience was much better than I could ever have expected. Went to the game with Heidi and my colleagues Teemu and Monika who are currently visiting.
Posted by Marcus Duveskog at 22:48
Friday, 18 June 2010
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Ivory Coast played well but Portugal was closest to score. Have watched two games now and still not seen any goal. The game was really fun to watch live as there was a great atmosphere. After game we sneaked in to one of the launches and enjoyed some good food and drinks. Now of to the fan park to watch Bafana Bafana beating Uruguay (Hopefully).
Posted by Marcus Duveskog at 18:48
Friday, 11 June 2010
Posted by Marcus Duveskog at 17:38