Vuvuzelas make comeback

2010-08-28 08:35

Johannesburg - Soccer World Cup fever returned to South Africa on Friday with a sell-out 45 000 crowd watching a season-opening Premiership double-header at Cape Town Stadium.

A racially mixed crowd had fun and the plastic vuvuzela horns blared as Orlando Pirates overcame promoted Vasco da Gama 2-1 before Ajax Cape Town triumphed 2-0 against Bloemfontein Celtic.

Football officials are desperate to build on the success of the World Cup when South Africa silenced doubters by staged an almost hitch-free tournament.

Among priorities is convincing white, mixed race and Asian-origin football fans who attended the World Cup in droves to watch domestic football which they traditionally shun in favour of televised English and Spanish games.

Staging back-to-back fixtures at a stadium where Portugal scored seven goals against North Korea, England hit rock bottom when held goalless by Algeria and Netherlands reached the World Cup final proved a crowd-pulling masterstroke.

Vasco might have drawn a 10 000 crowd given the national popularity of 1995 African champions Pirates had the match been held separately while Ajax would have been lucky to attract half that figure for a clash with Celtic.

Making the Cape Town Stadium attendance even more impressive was that Western Province were at home to Free State Cheetahs a few kilometres away in a Currie Cup rugby union fixture.

Province have been the envy of Cape Town football clubs with their ability to woo large crowds composed mainly of whites and mixed race spectators to Test venue Newlands.

Former South Africa striker Sibusiso Zuma headed Vasco in front on 22 minutes only for defender Lucky Lekgwathi to equalise with a bicycle kick before half-time and Zambian Isaac Chansa struck the second-half winner.

"Vasco did well, fighting for every ball and every metre," said Pirates coach and former Dutch star Ruud Krol.

"We were guilty of ball watching for the Zuma goal and I wanted the game played at a higher tempo."

The second match lacked the same excitement and intensity with some fans leaving during the second half while Ajax took 91 minutes to seal victory through a penalty converted by defender Brett Evans.

Thulani Serero put the Cape Town club ahead on 34 minutes by firing a weak headed clearance past Cameroon-born goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb and Celtic came closest to levelling when a Moses Spandeel volley rattled the crossbar.


  • norman - 2010-08-28 10:29

    great night enjoyed the soccer just a pity the police on horse back need some training in talking to poeple hule ma se

  • The Voice of Reason - 2010-08-28 11:06

    This matches were a great idea, and I hope that PSL will work on more ways to push up attendances this year. The idea to stage both legs of the Pirates vs Chiefs MTN 8 semis at Soccer City is also great. I do wonder though, is this article written to be published on sites outside of SA? "[M]ixed race spectators", "rugby union", for people in SA the terms coloured and rugby would work just fine.

  • Pedros - 2010-08-28 11:29

    Norman I thought I was the only one who thought the police at the stadium need to be educated about the soccer fans. They almost spoilt a great night. I bet it is the first time they attended a psl game. People were having fun and singing and these dumb cops almost created an unnecessary chaos. Tell me who in mzansi doesn’t know that Celtics supporters stand and sing the whole game? They were very lucky that the supporters did not turn against them. Overall it was a great night and we want more football Fridays.

  • Vasco Da Gama FC - 2010-08-28 13:45

    got a new supporter.

  • SlimZ - 2010-08-28 15:05

    Whats with the "mixed race and Asian-origin football fans". Have you been watching 2 much of Trevor Noah?? I am proud to be called Indian and I know my coloured brothers are just fine with the term coloured

  • DEE - 2010-08-28 16:33

    Was my first ever local game and truly enjoyed it. The vibe in the stadium was way beter than the world cup games i attentend. Well done Cape town.

  • Jacques - 2010-08-28 18:24

    Was also my very-first local game I attended. Great atmosphere, very organised, sat next to a group of very enthusiastic Pirates supporters(the Bloem Celtic supporters were also very colourful). Will definitely make a plan of returning and attend another game, and support my "newly adopted" team Ajax Cape Town. Will certainly attend future games like Ajax vs Santos, Ajax vs Supersport, Ajax vs Chiefs, and also the game vs Pirates.

  • Daredevil - 2010-08-28 19:52

    2 very good games to start the season with. The vibe was amazing. The only thing I can complain about, is that the guys at the security checkpoint didn't allow me to take my camera in, but there were people in front and behind me who manage to take theirs into the stadium. WTF?

  • The Khosi One - 2010-08-30 09:07

    The damn Cops almost ruined it, but the Siwelele rhythm kept going.

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