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South Africa
June 22, 2010
Posted by Paul Johnson on 06/22/2010

It wasn't to be in the end. The qualification into the second round that the whole country sought was evaded eventually by the slimmest of margins. Three goals were all that was missing in the final analysis. All three could probably have been snatched in the French game such were the amount of chances that Bafana Bafana had. The failure to qualify to the second round shouldn't take anything away from the performance against the French though which was superb.

Posted by Paul Johnson on 06/22/2010

Call me mad, call me plain silly but for some reason I feel a surge of confidence in me that South Africa are going to do really well against France.

Maybe I have just got caught up in all of the World Cup spirit but I even have a sense that South Africa might even qualify for the last 16 tomorrow. Sorry - I'm really hammering this optimism thing aren't I ?

I'm in Bloemfontein at the moment, the site of the South Africa game and watching the atmosphere begin to build up as the kick off gets gradually nearer really is a delight. The area is known for it's hard core support and it seems the Bafana Bafana fans here aren't in a mood to let the team down on Tuesday.

The flags and vuvuzela's are out in full force and it's hard not to be swept off your feet by this tidal wave of good feeling. Don't tell the home fans that the French game could be their last in this African World Cup.

A woman in a supermarket today was telling me how convinced she was that South Africa would beat Argentina in the next round. It's blind optimism like that which makes the World Cup such an amazing event. Three simple games of football in this first round can make fans believe anything is possible.

Obviously it kind of helps playing against a team which has probably had their fill of this World Cup already. That would give any kind of opposition a hell of a lot of belief. The French team seem a complete shambles at the moment, in fact maybe shambles is too kind a word for them right now. One of the biggest questions on my mind is will they even put out a team tomorrow night ? I hope they do. What a massive shame it will be for all sets of supporters if France decide to boycott this game.

Maybe Ireland could step in to play Bafana Bafana for one match !?

So, here's my prediction for the game (IF we play France that is) I believe that Bafana Bafana will win 3-0. I don't think France will want to be playing a team that has as much heart and determination as the hosts right now.

As for qualification ? Well, it can't hurt believing. Maybe miracles do still happen ?

Thanks for reading. I'll post again after the game. You can also follow me on twitter for updates, news and random musings:

June 17, 2010
Posted by Paul Johnson on 06/17/2010

The World Cup has yet to kick into life so far, but something I keep constantly hearing (in more ways then one) about are the vuvuzela’s. If you’ve watched any of the tournament’s matches so far, I’m sure you’d have heard them. They’re the cause of that low buzzing sound that seems to echo around every stadium in South Africa.

Posted by Paul Johnson on 06/17/2010

A disastrous result in Wednesdays game has left South Africa needing a miracle to progress to the second round. Outclassed in every department, Bafana Bafana rarely threatened to mount a serious challenge to a classy Uruguay side.

June 15, 2010
Posted by Paul Johnson on 06/15/2010

South Africa play Uruguay on Wednesday in a must win match that could see the victor through to the second round. On an already emotional day for the hosts, Bafana Bafana must take risks if they're to come through tomorrow with the supporters Vuvezela's still honking.

June 12, 2010
Posted by Paul Johnson on 06/12/2010

Nearly 85,000 people saw Bafana Bafana take on Mexico in the opening game of the 2010 World Cup. In a game that many expected the hosts to lose, Bafana Bafana showed bags of heart and desire to walk away with a 1-1 draw in a match that they probably should have won.

June 10, 2010
Posted by Paul Johnson on 06/10/2010

The eyes of the world will be focused on Soccer City, Johannesburg when Bafana Bafana take on Mexico to kick off the 19th World Cup on Friday. I think that the neutral fan will want South Africa to win (Sorry Mexico fans) and I dont expect them, or the millions of home supporters to be disappointed.

June 6, 2010
Posted by Paul Johnson on 06/06/2010

As the Springboks seem to go from strength to strength perhaps we should also be talking about the South African football team in equal terms?

June 1, 2010
Posted by Paul Johnson on 06/01/2010

Going into any event, whether it’s a kickabout with your friends or going into the world’s biggest football event, you’ll always feel better with momentum on your side.

May 30, 2010
Posted by Paul Johnson on 05/30/2010

What's wrong with a little dreaming? With the start of the World Cup and our first game against Mexico being a little under two weeks away, I'm being confident and imagining some of the incredible things that could happen to not just our football team but our country as well.

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