Clive Barker says “squeeze the lemon my boys do it for Mandela”, he says Gordon should tell them “your mamma loves you”, He says the coach should be stroking their ego as far as possible. Come on, then… Lets do this. This is at the extra time after the extra time. Soon as the game starts, the boys were at it not even a minute passed and there was a foul, an act of violence. Making known to all who dare to watch that this is war.
Even the President has come out and said publicly that if the boys don’t bring it home they must not cry like sissies. Win and that’s that. Every country’s politician knows that such a win would give them enough currency to buy all sorts of political favors, 93 minutes passed and we almost clinch a goal, and a big sigh comes out of SA
These guys we are playing are French players, some of them have all sorts of collections of toughies. These are the African warriors of all of Africa, the best of the best on my beloved continent. This is serious, our men must win. Itumeleng is tested at around 93:45. We hold the defense line, they attack and we retreat, we come with a full force and they fall like sissies, busy hitting each other in the face, the other guy hit so hard, I’m sure he was thinking ‘yuu Sout African yuu!’. Furman holding the midfield, holding his own, Siboniso Gaxa and Senzo Meyiwa team up and we get a corner. Tensions are thick in the dead of night, it’s about an hour before midnight. Siyabonga Sangweni gives a tame try but we’re still in it.
We go back to the start, yes at this time I’m thinking of that British band’s track, The Scientist. Gaxa throws it in, and when we lose it we are all back on our half of the field, they come hard and get inside attacking and we thwart it. They are right at our door and It goes to their throw you can almost cut the tension with a knife now, it comes to nothing. Gaxa with another throw again, Malians foul us and here we go again, Khumalo, Furman, Parker, Serero, back home and the time feels frozen, there in that last two minutes we feel like it is ages in time, eons. Mali keeps attacking and it’s terrible for every South African to watch. I am afraid, I don’t trust my boys, they’ve let me down so many times, even our man of the match from the last game, Nkhune, he’s not to be trusted.
You owe it to us boys, we will never forgive you if you don’t bring it back home. Adama Tamboura looking at Parker like, Nigga please you wasting your time, yes in that north African accent. Lol, yes I said it, Lol. I doubt that though, this player is based in Denmark. Ok, back to the game, this guy is bleeding and our fans, are frantic. We’re in extra time of extra time of extra time. Then the ref says it’s over. Our people are praying and even my son suddenly wakes up. Boys trying to loosen the mood back at the pits, showing hopeful grins. Now it rests on our man of the match. I’m glad it’s not that Josephs guy, he doesn’t seem so stable to me. He usually looks angry. Our guys are defending with tooth and nail, not literally. Masilela and Tshabalala, come in the left wing , Tshabalala almost brings it home and the ref says its a foul.
We’re defending so hard now, Mali is relentlesss they’re sending in a barrage of attacks, they still have the ball, and then with a wayward boot it’s sent flying out, relieving the South African fans. A bad foul from Furman. Here they come again, and Sangweni clears it away to all of our relief. Some silly guy comes in with a flying kick, every one is saying there has to be a card (I’m hoping for the red one), and he only gets a yellow. It appeases the fans, even little kids are crying foul… One is so cute with his small green and yellow, shouting frantically. Then comes Siphiwe with a free kick and he sends a calm through the stands. Diabate a man who plays for the French team Bordeaux, Furman uses the hand of Maradona, the hand of God as they said it in his time, Tshabalala is cleared by Adama Coulibaly of Auxerre, France. Mpumalanga is represented by one of our boys, It’s 11:01, Samba Diakite is giving problems but he is eventually cleared. Mahlangu makes a run for it and it’s cleared again.
The score is 1 – 1, No one likes penalties but we’d rather die there than here. Nkhune saves the day. Letshulunyane is down, hit by the ball to his death. Don’t get me rolling my eyes, nobody likes a cry baby. Motsepe Next to the President, this is a national matter here. The Billionare that gave away half his fortune. People have almost given up, we are all thinking here comes the penalties It’s battled out in the midfield. Our boys go down charging with a throw into the Mali flank, we get a corner and it’s almost as if this is that moment of destiny, this is the moment for our boys to make mamma proud, a dismal fail to take the chance and we feel it is over at 120:00.
The ref adds 2 minutes. We’re all hanging on the edge and my fiance doesn’t want to watch anymore, African drums can be heard in the background. Last chance for a final attack. Our coach is literally shaking as he discusses strategy with his assistant, fear or adrenaline or both. The boys fight it out and the ref finally calls it. Yep, that’s it Africa, it’s going to be a shoot out at the penalties.
The critics are busy with the if’s. The Mali goal keeper is wearing pink socks and I hope they have an inscription of “No Homo!!”. So off we all go to the battle formations for the penalties. Our people are praying, at-least we are a praying nation. My fiance says maybe some of them are pretending. Here comes the time for the penalties. Soumbeyla Diakite is first at his posts, Simphiwe Tshabalala, takes our first one. Number 8 for 2013. He pauses a moment. Waits for the ref and sends it right home. The crowd bolsters in a roar, South Africa is proud at this moment. 1 South Africa, 0 Mali, They catch up and it’s 1 – 1. Furman, starts the spell of disappointment they will be crowned the boys of disappointment, everyone will be saying I told you so, even the propaganda pushers of government were shouting “if you believe” through their government air time. Sabotaging our birthright. The country is unforgiving, to lose right on our land…
The Denmark player Adama Tomboura, comes to take his penalty and he makes his name resonate across the country. It’s just not our day this year, People can’t watch. Khune also fails us. It’s time to go to sleep, there’ll be no partying tonight. Even Majoro sends it flying into space. Number two scratches his crotch and we are done. So near yet so far. The journey and the dream, it ends here, tonight for South Africa.
The Critics on TV sound like they are crying in the studio room, our old coach that made it in 1996, Clive Barker, he wants to cry, you can hear it from his voice. What a loss for the President. No political capital accumulated tonight, the people will be angry. Perhaps he doesn’t care, ofcause he’ll say he does. The way it was so bad tonight even SABC 1 goes blank. A moment of Silence for the tears, I’m sure they are pouring all over the country, then Maponyane comes back online, he’s interviewing Furman, he could have been the man of the match but he’s standing there in shame. What a loss, lousy way to start 2013, off to bed I go, to drown in my own sorrow. The boys again, have disappointed me.