Sat, June 12, 2010
Sports > Soccer > 2010 FIFA World Cup

Hosts tie Mexico 1-1 in world cup opening game

2010-06-12 00:17:40 GMT2010-06-12 08:17:40 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Efrain Juarez (Top) of Mexico vies with a player of South Africa during a group A match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg, on June 11, 2010. The match ended with a 1-1 tie. (Xinhua/Guo Yong)

South Africa's player Siphiwe Tshabalala (R2) celebrates a goal with teammates during a group A match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Mexico at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg, on June 11, 2010. The match ended with a 1-1 tie. (Xinhua/Xu Suhui)

Siboniso Gaxa (R Front) of South Africa vies with Giovani Dos Santos (L Front) of Mexico during a group A match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg, on June 11, 2010. (Xinhua/Wang Yuguo)

Siphiwe Tshabalala (L) of South Africa shoots during a group A match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup against Mexico at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg, on June 11, 2010. The match ended with a 1-1 tie. (Xinhua/Li Ga)

South Africa's players (Yellow) and Mexico players gather for a group A match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup between South Africa and Mexico at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg, on June 11, 2010. The match ended with a 1-1 tie. (Xinhua/Li Ga)

JOHANNESBURG, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Rafael Marquez came to Mexico's rescue as his 79th-minute goal earned a 1-1 tie with hosts South Africa in the opening game of the 2010 Soccer World Cup on Friday.

Siphiwe Tshabalala gave Banafa Banafa their first goal in the 2010 edition of the World Cup ten minutes after the break, sending Johannesburg's Soccer City and the whole nation into eruption. But Mexico, taking control in most of the time, then silenced the tens of thousands of "Vuvuzelas" within Johannesburg's Soccer City as their captain, in plenty of space within the area, beat keeper Itumeleng Khune with a low finish.

Hosts nearly created even bigger surprise but Katlego Mphela hit the ball against the post in the 91st minute.

Mexico should have been at least 2-0 up by halftime but they were punished for failing to convert a string of opportunities into goals.

Carlos Vela comfortably converted a corner in the 37th minute, which was cancelled out for offside.

Giovani Dos Santos, 21, became the soul of the Mexican squad. He was not far from giving hosts the worst possible start but his strike, after keeper Itumeleng Khune spilled a cross into his way, was deflected by South African captain Aaron Mokoena after only two minutes.

Mexicans kept on piling up pressure as Vela, Dos Santos and Guillermo Franco tested Khune in roll. But Bafana Bafana showed a glimpse of talent as Katlego Mphela just missed connecting with Siphiwe Tshabalala's left-wing cross one minute from the break.

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