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World Cup: South Africa vs. Mexico: It's all over at Soccer City at 1-1 [Updated]

June 11, 2010 |  9:13 am

Well, Mexico, you managed to squirm off the hook.

The opening game of the 2010 World Cup is in the history books and South Africa and Mexico have both come away with one point after tying, 1-1, in front of a crowd of more than 90,000 at Johannesburg's superb Soccer City stadium.

Second-half goals by Siphiwe Tshabalala in the 56th minute for the Bafana Bafana and by Rafael Marquez in the 79th minute for Mexico provided the scoring in a game that did not sparkle but had more than a few exciting moments.

The most dramatic of these came in the final minute.

South Africa goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune sent a massive kick downfield in a last desperate attempt to generate a goal. The ball soared over the entire Mexico team, apart from goalkeeper Oscar Perez.

Katlego Mphela raced onto it and was in alone on Sanchez, but his angled shot struck the foot of the left post and bounced away. The Bafana Bafana came that agonizingly close to a momentous victory in the first World Cup game played in Africa.

So, yes, Mexico got off the hook.

For a full report on the match, see http://www.latimes.com/sports/soccer/ a little later on Friday.

Updated at 12:30 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the name of Mexican goalkeeper Oscar Perez.

--Grahame L. Jones, reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa

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