12 years ago today Siphiwe Tshabalala opened the World Cup with THAT goal vs Mexico

12 years ago today Siphiwe Tshabalala opened the World Cup with THAT goal vs Mexico

12 years ago today Siphiwe Tshabalala opened the World Cup with THAT goal vs Mexico

On this day in 2010, the World Cup in South Africa started with a bang as Siphiwe Tshabalala made a resounding attempt against Mexico in Johannesburg.

A nice bit of combination play in the middle of the park caused Tshabalala to shoot down the left flank.

After arriving in the penalty area, the Kaiser Chiefs speed demon let go and shoved the ball past Oscar Perez into the top corner, where the stadium erupted in unison.

“GOAL FOR ALL OF AFRICA!, BIRTHDAY!”

South African players celebrated by beating some beautifully choreographed moves.

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

Although Mexico would equalize in the 79th minute via Rafael Marquez, the moment that Tshabalala took care of 11 years later, still goosebumps.

For Drury, the man who had the best seat in the Soccer City Stadium, it remains one of his favorite football moments.

“It was just a beautiful day for sport and humanity,” he told SPORTbible.

“It did something for the world that day that politics can never do. In that stadium in Johannesburg, the world was united and racially equalized.

“Everyone was together. Arms were around their shoulders regardless of race, color and creed. There was a universal smile around that game and then a boy shouted [Siphiwe] Tshabalala, who grew up in Soweto, scored a beautiful, beautiful goal.

“Its symbolism touched me at the time and continues to touch me. Funnily enough this summer during the lockdown was the tenth anniversary of that goal and I went on South African radio and they connected me with Tshabalala.

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

“It was a beautiful thing and frankly I welled up. That was the first game of a World Cup, South Africa didn’t win and Mexico didn’t win, but I don’t think there has been a more symbolic match in terms of which sport and football can mean to the world than that game and that goal.

“I was lucky enough to have a good seat there to watch it.”

Tshabalala’s 54th minute world star will always be special, not only because of his technical brilliance, but also because of the joy the goal brought.

“People all over the world still give me love. I’m just thankful that I touched lives through my God-given talent. It gave people hope. It united a nation.

“It’s the goal that set the tone. It brought everyone together. Everyone was happy. Everyone was happy. There were lots of hugs and kisses in the stadium. It was just amazing.”