It’s been exactly 10 years since Siphiwe Tshabalala scored a goal for "all Africa".
In the opening match of the 2010 World Cup, Bafana Bafana midfielder put hosts South Africa 1-0 against Mexico with a terrific strike with his left foot.
It led to the quite brilliant commentary line from Peter Drury: “Goal Bafana Bafana, goal for South Africa, goal for all Africa.”
It was the first World Cup to be held in Africa and there was a party atmosphere inside the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.
The low humming of vuvuzelas could be heard throughout as the hosts took on a strong Mexican side.
But Tshabalala’s incredible strike ignited an entire continent in that one moment. It is one of the most memorable goals in World Cup history.
South Africa couldn’t really build on that opener, drawing the opening game 1-1. And they became the first hosts to crash out of the group stages, despite a 2-1 victory against France in their final match.
But that goal is one that Tshabalala will never forget as he recalls it 10 years on.
“I have scored a lot of good goals in my career, but there is no doubt that one is the best,” the 35-year-old, who spent 12 years at his boyhood club Kaizer Chiefs, told Reuters.
“Not necessarily for the technique, I think I scored better ones, but for what it meant to people. And what it still means to people today.
“At the time there were so many doubts about whether South Africa could host the World Cup. There was so much negativity. And then you had this beautiful thing (the goal).
“I think in that moment a lot of the negativity went away. People started to focus on much more positive things.”
“I also think for South Africans, it put a lot of smiles on faces. People forgot their problems, even if just for a while. If you were rich or poor, in that moment there was nothing else that mattered. It was an escape.
“I think even today it has an impact on people’s lives because it was a great moment, not just for me, but for Africa. It was a goal for all Africa.”
“I just went for power. The connection was perfect, I had good technique, and the power and speed of the ball was great.
“The millisecond it left my foot I knew it was in. As a player, sometimes you just sense these things. In my head I was celebrating long before the ball hit the back of the net.
“I was kind of in my own world. I wanted to cry, I wanted to laugh. I think I just ended up screaming!”
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