A joyous day for South Africa. A not quite perfect result.
South Africa gave up the lead on a goal by Mexico's Rafael Marquez in the 79th minute and settled for a 1-1 draw Friday in Johannesburg before 84,000 horn-blaring fans, whose euphoria over the start of the first World Cup on the continent was only slightly dimmed by the tie.
Siphiwe Tshabalala had given the host nation a dream start, finishing off an excellent move in the 55th minute to set off wild celebrations at Soccer City. But the South Africans left defender Marquez open and he collected a left-wing cross to score the tying goal.
France 0, Uruguay 0: Nil-nil draws can be the scourge of soccer. Yet nobody who participated in Friday night's 0-0 World Cup match between France and Uruguay in Cape Town was complaining.
The game between former champions produced an opening day dud, yet there was much satisfaction expressed by each team for gaining a point.
"It is almost a beautiful 0-0," France coach Raymond Domenech said. "But the result is what it is."
Even if some of the tournament's top stars - France's Franck Ribery and Uruguay's Diego Forlan - showed flashes, the fear of losing the opening game stifled both offenses.
The low point came when Uruguay's Nicolas Lodeiro was ejected after a wild challenge on Bacary Sagna in the 81st minute for his second yellow card.
"There weren't many chances for either team, neither team wanted to take many chances," Forlan said.