Belfast Telegraph

Alan Green: All hyped up and ready to party against the odds

I can’t tell you how relieved I was that South Africa didn’t lose that opening game.

Perhaps you sense it at home but, certainly, even a few days out here makes you appreciate how caught up this country is (a) at the privilege everyone feels about staging the first African World Cup and (b) the huge expectations they have of host country ‘success’ — wholly unrealistic expectations.

Their Brazilian coach says his team “fears nobody.” There wasn’t much evidence in the first half against Mexico. And the fact they could have stolen all three points doesn’t dissuade me from thinking they won’t get out of a difficult group.

That would have a terrible deflationary effect on the whole tournament which is why South Africa(ns) so needed that draw.

And who knows, the boring later stalemate between France and Uruguay might yet lead to an outcome the whole African continent would celebrate.

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