Throwback Thursday: The day the 2010 Soccer World Cup kicked off

Throwback Thursday: The day the 2010 Soccer World Cup kicked off

On this day in history, the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup kicked off. It remains one of the proudest days in South Africa's history.

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The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the first one to be held on the African continent and the world waited in great anticipation.

All roads led to Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg for a memorable opening ceremony and match.

Hosts, South Africa, took on Mexico in a tough opening encounter, but it more than lived up to expectations.

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After a cagey first half, Bafana Bafana started to carve out a few chances and eventually the Mexican defence was breached.

Bafana's talisman Siphiwe Tshabalala lashed in the opener with a thunderous left-foot finish and reported on his emotions on the day.

Sadly, the South African defence let its guard down for a moment and it was enough for Mexico to equalise.

The highs of that ceremony and fixture are etched into the memories of most football followers, but it's easy to forget that the opening day saw another match being played.

At the Cape Town Stadium, eventual semi-finalists, Uruguay, took on a mediocre French team. The match ended in a goalless draw.

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Many may not recall, but South Africa built five new stadiums for the event, while five others were upgraded. learnt that total construction costs amounted to R8.4-billion.

The value of hosting the tournament can never truly be quantified and for 30 days, the world's focus remained firmly on the African continent.

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