21 June 2010
Mexico and France met at the Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane on Friday in a night that rocked the World Cup host city. For the local spectators, it was a match that made them realise that the World Cup party had well and truly arrived in Polokwane.
“It was a brilliant spectacle, and the match took Polokwane to another level,” said Thabo Molokwane, who has been looking forward to seeing a World Cup match in his home town ever since he heard the new stadium was being built.
“This was a memorable day for everyone … This is history,” Molokwane said. “It was fantastic for a villager like myself to see world-class players in action at the Peter Mokaba stadium.”
Jamie Robb, who had travelled from Johannesburg for the match, said: “It was a great game … The vibe in the stadium was awesome, the Mexicans were great.”
The Mexican fans took up an entire stand of the Polokwane stadium, spurring their side on to a 2-0 victory over the French.
“They went crazy when a goal was scored, they must have outnumbered the French fans a thousand to one,” said Robb.
The city of Polokwane was one of the host cities that received a new stadium, which is wowing fans. The 45 000 seater stadium is the largest in the province of Limpopo, and has changed the sporting atmosphere of the city.
“The new stadium is impressive, the massive columns and the way it sticks out above the bushveld,” said Robb. “I would like to watch another game here, it is radical.”
Shaina Facey is a 16-year-old local who is thrilled to have the World Cup in her city. “There is an electric feeling here, people are happy and getting behind the teams,” Facey said. “There is something amazing happening here, the World Cup feels like it brought this city together.”
Many of the Polokwane residents are excited by the influx of foreign visitors into their city. “We met some of the Mexicans and it was really great to see them around,” said Facey. “It’s very interesting to have foreigners here, I think people are enjoying it.”