Saturday, June 19, 2010


The Samba boys’ first match and USA v Slovenia at Ellis Park

After more or less 3 straight days of drinking we dragged our tired bodies back to Johannesburg for some R&R.  We had tickets for two matches in Johannesburg over the next week – Brazil v N. Korea and USA v Slovenia.  Brazil was up first.

Brazil v N. Korea
June is the start of South Africa’s winter and lucky for us the day we went to watch Brazil was apparently the coldest day in Johannesburg since 1994!  Needless to say we were woefully unprepared.  The only thing that saved Courtney from certain hypothermia was the fact that there was a rather large man sat in the seat next to her inside the stadium.  With Lee’s puny body offering little protection from the elements, Courtney nestled into the side of the big fellow’s generous frame and managed to at least keep the frostbite at bay.

Brazil won the match as expected, but the plucky Koreans put up quite a fight.  The most bizarre sight of the game was the group of 100 or so Korean fans sat together on the other side of the stadium from us.  They were all wearing identical red tracksuits and clapped and cheered in perfect unison every so often.  We later found out that these “fans” were actually primarily Chinese nationals who had been hired by the North Korean government to pose as Korea fans for the match.

USA v Slovenia
Later that same week we headed back to Ellis Park for USA’s second group game against Slovenia.  At the match we met up with friends Katie and Ran who had traveled over to watch the first two US matches.

 Katie and Ran

Before the match with Katie

We had rubbish Category 3 tickets for this match but Katie and Ran had Cat 1s (much better seats) so we snuck in with them and squeezed into their section. We were in the biggest section of USA fans so the atmosphere was awesome.  After going 2-0 down it wasn’t looking good for the US team, but an early second-half goal from Donovan and then a late equalizer from Bradley and it was game on.  The crowd was going nuts.  If you watched this match on TV you know what happened next.  For a few seconds it was pandemonium in our section as US fans celebrated what we thought was the match winner.  Unfortunately the dodgy referee saw something that nobody else in the stadium saw and the goal was disallowed.  2-2 was the final and, after England’s terrible display against Algeria, it was all still to play for.

Some first half action

After the match we grabbed dinner and drinks in Melville, a trendy little suburb of Johannesburg, before saying our goodbyes to Katie and Ran who were headed back to Philadelphia in the morning.

1 comment:

  1. Memories!! Can't wait to see you both again. Love the South Africa updates from the blog.