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Mexico vs. South Africa: Rainbow Nation finds a hero in Tshabalala

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Ivan Sekretarev/AP

(Read caption) South Africa’s midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala, in yellow, scored the team's only goal, tying the Mexico vs. South Africa World Cup opener.

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Siphiwe Tshabalala. Once you work out how to pronounce the name of South Africa’s midfielder, memorize it.

He’s now a hero in the Rainbow Nation after scoring a left-footed blast in the 55th minute of the Mexico vs. South Africa World Cup opener.

Nevermind that Tshabalala's goal did not win the game for Bafana Bafana – or “The Boys, The Boys,” as South Africa’s team is known. (The game ended in a tie after sloppy defense from South Africa allowed an easy goal by Mexico’s Marquez.)

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The goal was followed by a Macarena-like dance near the corner flag in front of the home crowd at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium and inspired Archbishop Desmond Tutu to do a little jig in the stands.

The tie only gives South Africa one point instead of the three points for a win, but it’s worth much more than that for them. It gives a much-needed boost of confidence as they continue on to play France and Uruguay; teams, like Mexico, that have far more international experience.


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