World Cup: South Africa vs Mexico: Scoreless at halftime in Soccer City

t’s halftime at Soccer City, and South Africa and Mexico are still all even at 0-0. The final 15 minutes of the first half saw a bit of a turnaround, with the Bafana Bafana finally showing some offensive pressure. The ball did find the back of the net once, when Giovani dos Santos banged it in after a corner kick, but teammate Carlos Vela was clearly in an offside position. Vela wagged his finger at the assistant referee who made the call, but it was the correct one. Guillermo Franco, who has been allowed an alarming amount of freedom by the South Africa defense, got in behind the defenders once again, but again his header flew high. South Africa closed the half on a high note, forcing at least four corners, but Mexico’s defense withstood the pressure. Siphiwe Tshabalala‘s corner was headed away by Franco. Teko Modesi sent a corner in from the other side, and this time defender Ricardo Osorio cleared the ball. A short while later, Modise’s thoughtful pass put Steven Pienaar clear and Pienaar sent an excellent cross in from the left, but it was fractionally too strong for the late-arriving Katlego Mphela to reach in front of the net. Mexico goalkeeper Oscar Sanchez was kept busy, first fisting away a Tshabalala corner and then watching as Kagisho Dikgacoi‘s header flew across the face of his net. Franco was caught offside just before the half ended, and like Vela, he wagged his finger at the assistant. Mexico looks the more likely team to win, but there isn’t any guarantee of that. The sun is setting. The temperatures are falling fast, and South Africa wants at least a point out of this game.

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