Happy February 2nd. It’s Groundhog Day, so I figured we’d pivot to a moment that we wish we could relive over and over. Today, we recall the moment that lifted all of Africa and the world out of its seat. The 2010 World Cup took place in South Africa, the first of the world’s greatest tournament to take place on African soil. The host country’s team, more affectionately known as Bafana Bafana, took on Mexico in the opening match. In the 55th minute of what was a scoreless match at the time, Siphiwe Tshabalala received a pass from Teko Modise. What resulted was historic:
Absolute bedlam consumed not just Soccer City in Johannesburg, not just the entirety of Africa, but the world. I’ve never screamed louder for a goal that wasn’t for the United States than when Tshabalala sent that screamer past Oscar Perez into the upper 90 of the net for the opening goal of the 2010 World Cup. The choreographed dance afterwards was everything, but it was just sheer ecstasy for everyone that loves beautiful soccer. It was a goal that not only sent all of South Africa into jubilation, but it allowed all of Africa to stand up and announce its ferocious presence. It was their World Cup, and South Africa had initiated the takeover. As the commentator screams on the call, it was a “[goal} for South Africa, goal for ALL Africa!” It truly was, and it was one of the moments that will forever live in black soccer history.
South Africa would go on to allow an equalizer to Mexico in the 79th minute and hang on for a 1-1 draw, but for a moment, all of Africa was one, united behind the power of Siphiwe Tshabalala sending a Jabulani ball into the net. There’s no doubt that Siphiwe Tshabalala’s goal in the opening match of the 2010 World Cup will forever live as one of the most memorable goals in World Cup history.