This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

FIFA World Cup 2010, Match 1 — South Africa 1-1 Mexico

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Anand Prakash:

1 down, 63 more to go! The opening ceremony was average, there was tragically no Nelson Mandela in attendance, but the first game of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was certainly a resounding success.

The hosts were just over 10 minutes away from completing a dream start to their own tournament at Soccer City, Johannesburg, after taking the lead in the second half through Siphiwe Tshabalala’s top corner cracker, but Rafael Marquez earned a share of the spoils for El Tri(Mexico) with a 79th minute equaliser.

As the world cup kicked off to the excitable sound of the vuvuzelas brought to the game by a colourful capacity crowd at Soccer City in Johannesburg, the opening minutes belonged to the men from South America. In the first quarter of an hour Mexico were almost untouchable in possession with their Barcelona-esque pass-and-move football. With Giovani sitting in the hole behind Carlos Vela and Guillermo Franco, the Mexicans had weapons Bafana Bafana simply could not handle – and the movement of the front three quickly began to cause the hosts all kinds of havoc.

Soon, the hosts were carved open as the adventurous Mexicans forced their way into the South Africa box and when keeper Itumeleng Khune spilt a cross, Giovani dos Santos was superbly blocked by South African captain Aaron Mokoena as he looked set to tap into the empty net.

The first booking of the World Cup came when Mexico’s Efrain Juarez was penalised for handball and then failed to retreat when referee Ravshan Irmatov attempted to allow the home side to take the set piece. But within seconds Mexico were back on the attack and Giovani unleashed a fantastic left-footed shot which just cleared the bar with South Africa keeper Khune scrambling across.

As Mexico dominated possession, patient build-up play led to Carlos Vela chipping in a neat pass to Franco, who held off his marker and got a shot in on goal, but Khune’s strong right hand just managed to keep the ball out.

El Tri continued to press, and Bongani Khumalo was just about able to block a Giovani shot over the bar to concede a corner from which the game’s first big talking point emanated.

A dangerous corner was swung in, and with keeper Khune coming into no-man’s land, the ball was flicked on to Vela at the back post, but his tap-in was fruitless as the offside flag was up due to the goalkeeper’s advanced position beyond the Mexico striker.

South African striker Mpehla had been forced to feed off scraps until he was inches away from heading in Tshabalala’s cross just before the break, but soon after the interval the world had the goal for which it had been waiting.

Tshabalala, a 25-year-old Soweto-born left winger for Kaizer Chiefs, wrote his name down in football folklore with a strike of such pure quality it almost took a second for him to realise what he had done. The winger strode onto a pass from South Africa’s icon Steven Pienaar with real purpose on the left and unleashed a magnificent left-footed strike into the top right hand corner of the goal to send the home crowd into raptures.

Suddenly there was more belief about South Africa’s play, but also more purpose on display from the Mexicans, and it was they who could easily have struck the next goal as Giovani Dos Santos whipped in a fierce left foot shot which was sensationally tipped over the bar by keeper Khune.

Mexico coach Javier Aguirre introduced national legend Cuauhtemoc Blanco for Vela as he looked to provide his team with a greater threat close to goal. Even with South Africans in the lead, it was Mexico who continued to boss possession while South Africa looked dangerous while counter-attacking.

On 79 minutes, Mexico hit a deserved equaliser when a cross from the left was floated in and Mokoena kept three forwards onside, allowing Rafael Marquez time and space to fire a shot between the near post and goalkeeper Khune.

The goal seemed to take the sting out of the hosts as they looked to hold on the 1-1 scoreline while the Mexicans pressed for the winner.

Even then, South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira saw his team almost snatch it in the dying moments as Katlego Mphela broke through, but he couldn’t quite get the ball under control and his left-foot shot came cannoning back off the foot of the near post with Mexico keeper Perez beaten.

There are positives and negatives to take for South Africa and Mexico. The former will be buoyed by their tactical performance after the break — for which coach Carlos Alberto Parreira deserves a great deal of credit — as they caused numerous problems on the counter attack and only conceded due to a lack of concentration on a cross. There will, naturally, still be some concerns whether personnel-wise they can really mix it with the very best.

As for the latter, Mexico looked a class act when they were at their free flowing best in the first period. However, there are question marks over both their decisiveness in front of goal — with too many situations squandered — their mental strength as heads dropped after South Africa broke the deadlock, and the naivety in defending with such a high line considering Mphela’s pace on the counter. Make no mistake about it, though, Mexico are a rough diamond who can make an impact if they polish their rough edges.

One final point to be made is on the pitch. It had been predicted for a number of years now that South Africa’s surfaces may not be up to standard, but Soccer City’s today played out as impressively as the football. Welcome to South Africa 2010! Waka Waka!!

source: First hand coverage. Excerpts aggregated from football websites like and

Anand Prakash is a Special Sports Correspondent for Youth Ki Awaaz and is bringing the latest scoop from the FIFA 2010.

You must be to comment.

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Suvam Maiti

By jayesh acharya

By Mohammad Sufiyan

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below