South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira hoped to finally win his first World Cup finals match since leaving Brazil in 1994. He did just that thanks in part to the tireless performance of Siphiwe Tshabalala who led Bafana Bafana to a 2-1 victory over a France side in total disarray.
It was Tshabalala’s corner that created the first goal. Whipping his delivery to the far-post, France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris lost himself underneath the ball’s flight to allow Bongani Khumalo to head home. Tshabalala also played a major role in his side’s second, showing real drive to break into the box before Tsepo Masilela’s low cross was bundled over the line by Katlego Mphela.
The midfielder showed enterprise throughout and inspired most of his side’s attacking moves. A dejected France completely folded for large periods of the match and Tshabalala was assiduous in midfield; at the forefront of his side’s collective swagger in possession, he created a number of good chances for Mphela and then substitute Siyabonga Nomvethe.
Goal.com Readers' Top of the Match: Katlego Mphela
Leading the line, Katlego Mphela was a constant threat to the French defence and repeatedly found space inside full-backs Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna. With pace and power, he went close on a number of occasions and could have scored three goals. He was very unlucky not to at least bag a brace when he showed excellent movement again to latch onto a Tshabalala pass before striking the post.
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