“It was history in the making. I feel honoured and grateful at the same time,” Siphiwe ‘Shabba’ Tshabalala says.
“It was history in the making. I feel honoured and grateful at the same time,” Siphiwe ‘Shabba’ Tshabalala says about his historic goal in the opening game against Mexico at the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which is today, 11 June, exactly five years ago.
It was the first goal of the World Cup played in South Africa in 2010. The match took place in front of a sold out (84 000 spectators) Soccer City, which at present is the home ground of the Amakhosi.
Tshabalala scored the goal in the 55th minute. South Africa won the ball in their own half. After some quick passing between Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Katlego Mphela, Teko Modise put the ball deep, behind Mexico’s defence, to ‘Shabba’ who had by then had entered the opponent’s box on the left side.
Accordingly, the Chiefs midfielder shot the ball, with his left, diagonally past the Mexican goalkeeper in goal. It was a beauty, allowing the whole of South Africa to celebrate. Sadly, however, the Mexicans came back to equalise, with 1-1 being the final score.
“I still get goose bumps,” reflects ‘Shabba’ on that special moment with his trademark shy smile. “The date itself is marked by receiving messages from all quarters. It is a special day in my career.”
The Kaizer Chiefs kingpin has played 261 official matches for Amakhosi, scoring 41 goals in the process.
“I woke up this morning with my routine morning jog before relaxing with my girlfriend and child,” comments ‘Shabba’ on his day so far. “I will just take it easy, maybe I will mark the day with a family dinner.”
Bafana Bafana are currently in camp ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying opener against Gambia on Saturday, 13 June, at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium (kick-off at 15:30).
“I wish Bafana Bafana all the best,” concludes ‘Shabba’, encouraging the South African national team for the upcoming clash. “We have a good squad, capable to win on Saturday.”