Fans of World Cup host South Africa were delighted to see Bafana Bafana ("the boys, the boys") beat France 2-1 in a spirited match in Bloemfontein. But neither team will progress to the next round: Mexico was tied with South Africa on points but Mexico advanced on aggregate goals while Uruguay led Group A with seven points.
South Africa had built up a 2-0 lead by halftime with contributions from Katlego Mphela and Bongani Khumalo. Then France lost a man from the field after Yoan Gourcuff was red-carded for elbowing South Africa’s Macbeth Sibaya. The French managed to put in a face-saving goal in the 79th minute courtesy of Florent Malouda.
So although those hoping to see South Africa in the finals were disappointed to witness its elimination, Bafana Bafana earned praise for its outstanding performance against France, a shambles on field and off.
In Group B, meanwhile, Nigeria drew 2-2 with South Korea, which progressed to the next stage with 4 points. in another Group B match Argentina beat Greece 2-0 to advance to the round of 16.
Sports analyst Alois Bunjira told VOA Studio 7 reporter Marvellous Mhlanga Nyahuye that South Africa could have qualified had it managed a better performance against Uruguay and piled up more points.