Wed Oct 18 16:44:12 CAT 2017

Thriller ends in a stalemate

2012-12-10 10:35:09.0 | KGOMOTSO SETHUSHA |

IT had been dubbed the next big thing after the ANC's Mangaung elective conference.

 Excited fans get value for money 

On the degree of significance, there's no doubt which one between the Soweto derby and the keenly-awaited political event is important to the country.

But on attraction and excitement terms, it goes without saying the biggest sporting event in the calendar of South African sport takes the prize.

While everyone knows that this gigantic affair ended with a goal apiece, there is no doubt that those who descended on the "Calabash" got their money's worth.

A man who was introduced to Sout African football by Kaizer Chiefs, Collins Mbesuma, got the afternoon's war going with a brilliant effort after subtracting one defender. This time around, he did it in his black and white Orlando Pirates kit.

Lehlohonolo Majoro cancelled that goal with an almost similar effort in the second half to ensure that both sides took home a point.

The anticipation and anxiety towards the biggest sporting event in the country and probably one of the top 10 derbies around the globe, had simply too much for any soccer fanatic to bear.

If there's one thing that unifies a racially and politically divided country as South Africa, then it's sport.

Not only sport, but football in particular and definitely games of such high magnitude as the Soweto derby.

The game drew the who's who from different industries: musicians, politicians, bureaucrats, a few nerds and the claustrophobic who normally wouldn't be bothered to move an inch from their homes or even catch a rare glimpse of this magnificent 2010 Fifa World Cup venue.

Dressed to the nines in designer clothes, fitting for the occasion (football is serious business these days), dignitaries and celebrities such as Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Floyd Shivambu, swamped the VIP areas.

But it's not clear if the bourgeoisies absorbed and enjoyed the atmosphere like the thousands of ordinary fans, in kaleidoscopic sets of bright images, mostly black, white, red and gold.

Such were the high levels of decibels, song, clap, blurring sounds of vuvuzelas one would be forgiven to think it was a convention of bees.

The unique South African culture makes this one a special match; distinguishing it from the famous El Classico in Spain and the Italian Della Madonina, among others.

Enough bums were on the seats as tickets were snapped up a week before the biggest match in southern Africa.

Traffic congestion still remains an ailment without a cure. But unlike in other derbies or equally big matches of similar magnitude, there was strict adherence to kick-off time.

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