UPDATE: 12:00 pm EST -- FINAL SCORE: MEXICO 1 - 1 SOUTH AFRICA. Amazing game to open the cup. Both sides showed some flair and the second half was played at a cracking pace. South Africa really impressed in light of the expectations people had for them. Will they make it out of Group A? Anything is possible. Thanks for tuning in. Full archive of today's match live blog is below.
UPDATE: 11:42 am EST: GOAL: MEXICO 1 - 1 SOUTH AFRICA (Marquez, 79th minute).
UPDATE: 11:16 am EST: GOAL: SOUTH AFRICA 1 - 0 MEXICO. (Tshabalala, 54th minute). WOW (VIDEO)
UPDATE: 11:00 am EST: Halftime in Johannesburg. Score is 0-0. Some good chances for Mexico who looked the better side overall, but South Africa were more menacing on the attack as the game went on. Stay tuned for the second half and thanks for all the comments.
Hello and welcome to the opening day of the 2010 incarnation of the greatest sporting event known to man, the World Cup. HuffPost World Editor Nicholas Sabloff here and I'll be live blogging the action from the first match of the tournament, in which host nation South Africa takes on Mexico. Kick off time at Soccer City in Johannesburg is 10:00 a.m. EST. Match is on ESPN for those watching in the U.S. We'll have live coverage of USA and England Saturday at 2:30 p.m. EST.
A few quick things to note of the trivia variety heading into the match between South Africa and Mexico, or, if you prefer, between Bafana Bafana and El Tri. Firstly, no host nation has ever failed to make it out of their group (yes, even the U.S. did so in 1994); this being said, there are no shortage of people who think South Africa may soon bear the distinction of being the first. They are considered one of the weakest teams in the tournament and they have drawn a group consisting of three other quality teams with a history of World Cup success (France and Uruguay round out Group A.).
Secondly, Mexico have apparently suffered the most defeats in the history of the World Cup, having lost 22 times. [h/t Guardian.]
Thirdly, top South Africa striker Benni McCarthy was, depending on what news source you believe, dropped from the final squad for being either too fat and out of shape or for entertaining women in his room. Either way, he won't be playing.
Today's match should be an exciting game given that neither team is afraid to go forward. The crowd will surely be an amazing spectacle, regardless of your feelings about the vuvuzela (What do 100,000 vuvuzelas blown in unison sound like: the world may soon know the answer.)