With only three days left to the kick-off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it’s only right that nostalgia swells as South Africans remember when the tournament came to African shores for the first time in 2010. So we thought we’d take you on a trip down memory lane with a roundup of five of the most memorable moments of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
1. When Siphiwe Tshabalala scored the first goal of the tournament
With millions of South Africans watching our national team taking on Mexico in the opening match, Siphiwe Tshabalala scored the first goal of the 2010 World Cup in the 54th minute and the first ever for Bafana Bafana. That goal became one of the most electrifying moments in recent South African history and cemented Tshabalala as one of South Africa’s sporting heroes forevermore.
2. When late former president Nelson Mandela made a surprise appearance at the closing ceremony
Our late former president Nelson Mandela pleasantly surprised the entire world when he and his wife Graça Machel were driven onto the pitch at the World Cup closing ceremony. This would be Madiba’s last public appearance before his passing in December last year.
3. When Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty for Ghana
Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez is notorious for his less-than-fair antics on the pitch. One of his most controversial moves came as he handballed a shot from Ghanian striker Asamoah Gyan from inside the goal post. Gyan was handed an opportunity for revenge and the chance to send Ghana through to the semi-finals through a penalty. Unfortunately, Gyan failed to connect the ball to the back of the net, breaking the hearts and hope of Africans around the continent.
4. When Spain won the world cup for the first time ever.
Spain beat Holland 1-0 in the final after a goal from Andres Iniesta came 27 minutes into extra time. This made the Spaniards the third nation to be the European and world champions at the same time after winning the UEFA European Football Championship four years earlier.
5. Jong Tae-Se crying his eyes out while singing his country’s national anthem
While most players feel a sense of pride when singing their national anthems before kick-off, North Korea’s Jong Tae-Se takes the cup for the most emotional display of pride and patriotism before a soccer match, as he struggled to contain his tears and even sing along as his nation’s anthem played.
[Main image – Flickr]