Reuters Soccer Blog
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Since July’s World Cup final, which attracted an official attendance of 84 490, the crowds at Johannesburg’s Soccer City have been getting bigger and bigger.
On Saturday the attendance record was beaten again when South Africa hosted its League Cup final at the venue.
Conveniently the match was between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, the two best supported teams in the country whose intense rivalry has been enhanced by several additional, and unexpected, cup meetings in the recent months.
Over 90,000 braved traffic problems to turn up and see the Chiefs triumph 3-0, trumping the 88,791 that watched the August rugby test when New Zealand’s All Blacks beat the Springbok in a Tri-Nations match at the gigantic stadium.
If Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk had slapped down Nigel de Jong after the World Cup final, Hatem Ben Arfa might now not be facing six months out with a broken leg.
Instead, only after a second “robust” challenge has De Jong been punished by being dropped for the upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers with Moldova and Sweden.
We’ve followed every World Cup match live here and it’s now time for the final — the Netherlands v Spain. Join us here for commentary, discussion of the game and the best photos in the world.
People can and will talk about Frank Lampard’s wrongly-disallowed goal all day long but to concentrate on that would miss the much bigger problems that contributed to one of England’s worst-ever World Cup performances.
Claims that their players play too many games, suffer from not having a winter break and that the national team is hurt by the number of foreign players in key positions at the Premier League’s major clubs are all valid.
After struggling earlier in his round he has fought back to be level with his opponent but the best finisher will play Paul Lawrie and then Tony Jacklin in the next two rounds while the loser will take on Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
What started as a hunt for Mexican fans became a front row seat to one of the greatest street parties ever seen in South Africa as World Cup fever cranked up several notches on a sun-kissed afternoon in Johannesburg yesterday.
As I strolled the street looking for sombreros all I could find was a sea of green and gold as tens of thousands proud South Africans roared on their team, passing by in an open top bus.