Well, here it is... the test of how much you really love football. Probably the two worst teams in the field are facing off. We're hoping for a surprise as, if either team has any prayer of advancing, those prayers involve their God of choice handing them a win and smiting their enemy.
Line-ups after the jump as soon as I find them.
South Africa: Khune, Gaxa, Masilela, Mokoena, Sibaya, Pienaar, Modise, Dikgacoi, Booth, Parker, Fanteni
New Zealand: Moss, Lochhead, Vicelich (great name), Elliot, Brown, Smeltz, Killen, Bertos, Christie, Mulligan, Boyens
Jesus the news on the web sucks. Is nobody covering the Confederations Cup? I so wanted to get a pic of the reverse own-goal from South Africa in the opener. The above was the only artwork I could find from that match [UPDATE: New video art subbed in].
Okay, we've got live pictures. Bafana Bafana. Zuzuvelas or vuvuzelas or migraine machines are in full effect. At least we'll be spared Harkes and Dellacamara (sp?).
Hey Derek, I've met multiple people who think that NZ and Oz are connected by a bridge. Yes, Americans are that geographically illiterate. Such as. Therefor.
I'll probably be checking in on the Cubs and Sahx, so we're your one-stop sports shopping if legit sites are firewalled at work.
Rae (hooray!) and Smith (less hooray). Pienaar is healthy. So there's that.
Moments from kick.
Kick. Blogger commemorates the occasion by hanging. Thanks.
1st minute: I like that South Africa has the token white in Booth.
2nd minute: And South Africa whiffs on the first good chance. A great cross to Fanteri who was WIDE open outside the six, and he promptly swings over it. Fail.
4th minute: Holy Crap, we have a Norwich City mention. The first of the Confederations Cup I do believe. Then South Africa promptly push a shot wide. Nice effort from about 30-plus but it was never really on goal.
5th minute: It's only the 5th but possession has to be about 90-10 in favor of South Africa. Moral victory for New Zealand... they were already down to Spain by this point of the opener.
And we've got a piper down.... Simon Lochhead for the Kiwis is laying supine on the grass with a bleeding forehead. Now he trots off the pitch.
7th minute: And I've been corrected... that's the second NCFC mention. Ooops. South Africa owns the ball. NZ is keeping shape better but there is also no Torres on the pitch. Parker turns from the top of the 18 and is smothered as he gets a weak shot through to the keeper. Easy save.
9th minute: Lochhead back on with a wrapped head. Foul on Pienaar. And New Zealand finally get a ball into the attacking third... then promptly give it back.
10th minute: Fanteni celebrates a goal. Too bad he didn't know the flag went up. He was off. Good call.
11th minute: Booth plays Peter Garret in the Midnight Oil movie.
12th minute: Long ball into the box but it goes right to Moss. South Africa better be careful or they are going to let New Zealand get some confidence.
13th minute: I'm pretty sure this is what life sounds like when you're a bee. Few exchanges of possession. South Africa controlling around midfield. If I may... this is poor play from South Africa. They outclass the Kiwis and should keep the ball on the floor. They are trying to play long crosses and long balls in. It's not working for them.
15th minute: Phone call from my sister. Hold on. And the White Sox are up on the Cubs 2-0 in the 2nd.
17th minute: Pienaar with a rocket from the top of the 18 but it goes straight to the keeper.
18th minute: I don't think that the Kiwis really mean the kit color when they call their side the All Whites. Pienaar wide to Gaxa. He had a couple of men in support but he feeds it to Boyens, who plays for the other team.
19th minute: Fun fact. I picked South Africa to upset Spain. I am an idiot. South Africa swinging the ball back along their backline.
21st minute; GOAL! South Africa 1-0. Masilela got the corner and Mulligan went down (golf joke... anyone). Parker was wide open in the box and buried the feed into the upper right corner (more mid-upper than upper).
22nd miunte: Kiwis... -6 and counting. Ugh. And Bafana Bafana are already bac on the attack. Of course this is also a moral victory as by this time Torres had a hat trick already.
24th minute: Kiwis are chasing now. Really on their heels as South Africa keep possession in the attacking third.
Oh wow... Parker really mis-hit the ball and it deflected off the hip of a Kiwi defender. That deflection is what spun it out of Moss' reach. When you suck and luck goes against you, you've got no chance. I think that was Boyens again. Bet that guy wishes South Africa had never been born.
27th minute: Why did we ever spend money on Gitmo. We could have just sent detainees to South African soccer matches. Free kick for the kiwis. They get the ball in to a good position with two guys there but Vicelich can't get a head on it.
It was indeed Boyens with the deflection. Ugh...
29th minute: Better for New Zealand. They are keeping possession in midfield for spells now. Okay, just one spell, but it's their first. Baby steps.
31st minute: Boyens plants his elbow into Parker's back. Should have been a yellow. Sahx still up 2-0 in the third. Pienaar is off as he tapes his shin.
32nd minute: Kick save and a beauty! Parker turns around Vicelich at the top of the box and fires one low and to the right but Moss makes a great save. Gaxa was open but Parker took it himself. Should have laid it off would have been 2-0. But again, great save from the Kiwi keeper.
33rd minute: Mulligan tries his best Rory Delap. Gets the ball into the box and it's headed back by a Kiwi. The ball falls perfectly for Brown but he shanks it off the side of this foot. The first good chance for New Zealand and the pull a Norwood.
36th minute: South Africa has fallen back and are inviting the Kiwis upfield. This is proving to be a bad idea as the Kiwis are getting crosses into the box. And they are tall.
37th minute: Corner New Zealand. It's cleared long... And on a nice through ball Boyens makes a good play to clear. So he's not completely inept. Really that has to totally help his confidence.
38th minute: A long free kick from close to midfield. It gets sent it well but Booth cleans up and heads it back out.
40th minute: Game has slowed considerably. South Africa no longer pressing and trying to absorb everything in midfield. Corner for South Africa goes long. Neither Mokoena nor Booth could get it. Open play gives a free kick to SA from about 20 yards out... Ball is played in then headed long by Mokoena.
42nd minute: Slow play for South Africa. Swining it back and forth as they patiently look for something upfield. Whatevs. They're probably cool with a 1-0 halftime lead.
44th minute: Kiwis have gotten back into the game and have had the better of play since the goal. Still they can't keep enough of the ball to put South Africa on their heels.
45th minute: Cross in from Mulligan. And I bet he wishes he had that cross over... See, golf joke. It writes itself. Masilela goes down looking for a card from... Mulligan. Probably could have been a card.
+1 minute: Stretcher on for Masilela. Just a minute of stoppage... and there's the whistle. 1-0 at half. South Africa was dominant early but laid back after the goal. Kiwis have been clearly outplayed but are getting crosses into the box in the attacking third. They are really, really tall and just need one clean header.
Yeah, that's my lame attempt at teasing the second half for potential drama. I started. I'll finish. I'm going into the cone of silence for halftime though.
And we're back
Kick. Second half underway.
47th minute: Foul on Christie. Gaxa wide slips it back to the top of the back. They swing it around before Modise shoots and it goes over the crossbar.
48th minute: As bad as this Kiwi team is, they could be competitive with Bahrain or the Saudis. I mean they are a flukey goal and some good defending short of the World Cup.
49th minute: Fanteni from distance. He's got space but the shot is high and wide and never a threat to Moss. Second half starting like the first. Gaxa on a really good cross, but he can't control it off his chest and it bounces high giving Moss time to collect in traffic.
52st minute: Two whistle-able offenses by South Africa go unblown. Some long ball from both sides. Pienaar to Parker... GOAL! 2-0. It was actually Masilela with the feed from the left side. Parker came in front of his man and made a nice adjustment on the ball to slide it past the keeper.
54th minute: Card for Christie. Yellow for hacking at Parker. Actually it was an elbow. He tried to sneak one high. Life has been sucked straight out of the Kiwis.
Cubs Sahx is still 2-0 to the Sahx in the sixth. Cubs had 1st and 3rd with no outs during half but obviously failed to push anyone across.
56th minute: GD probably starts to matter here. If you're pro Iraq you want the South Africans held or the Kiwis to net at least one.
57th minute: Anyone know what 'Bafana' even means? Pienaar wins a free kick.
58th minute: And they get a corner off the free kick. It swings in and is cleared out.
60th minute: Nice little stat the flashed... New Zealand is 0-7-0 (American notation) all time in the Confederations Cup and have been outscored 24-2. Ouch. Parker waiting to poach a third off a run by Gaxa but New Zealand clear it. My bad... Gaxa just wiffed and topped the ball.
62nd minute: Mashego on. Think it was Fanteni off. Parker with a good header on target. Mulligan was beat but Moss made a nice save.
64th minute: Free kick from about 35 comes into the box. Boyens gets a head on it but Booth contests and it goes over the bar. On the resulting GK South Africa hoof it upfield fast. Masilela gets a shot off but it goes into the side netting. Kiwis should probably make a change and get a couple of guys who haven't had the lifeforce sucked out of them come in.
66th minute: Just as I say it... James on Bertos off for the Kiwis.
67th minute: Mashego gets Arssnal-itis and tries to make one too many passes instead of just pulling the fucking trigger when he was wide fucking open.
68th minute: And now Mashego is offside. But his work rate is nice. And he is suddenly everywhere.
69th minute: South Africa on the break, but a bad pass to Pienaar breaks it up. Think Rae just said that the Suadis drew so they go into the play-off with Bahrain.
70th minute: New Zealand is one of the least inventive sides ever. Mashego offside. By a good solid yard. He netted the ball but flag was up. Still Mashego is going to annoy the fuck out of Spain in a couple of days.
72nd minute: Boyens slides through Pienaar and gets a yellow for his effort. Totally deserved. In fact if Clark's was a red, that was a red (on first sight... haven't seen a replay).
74th minute: 17-year-old Chris Wood is coming on for Chris Killen. Wood plays for WBA in the Colaship. Kiwis must have made a sub at half because they just said they are out of subs. Smeltz with a feeble shot right to the keeper. Booth is cleaning up at the back.
77th minute: Stupid shot from distance by Smeltz when he had two players in support racing up the right side. And South Africa's counter is stopped by their own offsidedness.
79th minute: This is getting tough to watch. Kiwis are helpless. At least the worst is over for them in that they've already played Spain. I'm starting to think that Mashego is Afrikkaner for Inzaghi as that's about the 9th time he's been offside. And he didn't even play the first 60 minutes. I'm pretty sure I misspelled Inzaghi.
80th minute: Yellow for Pienaar. Parker off for Tshabalala Ding Dong.
82nd minute: Kiwis push forward. Or rather 2 Kiwis push forward because they hold it up and nobody comes in support. Even a good wide ball is wasted as Lochhead stops running.
83rd minute: Another good save from Moss to deny Mashego. Then on the rebound thre's a great touch to tart a give-and-go as Tshabalala drives toward the end line and feeds it back to a wide open Mashego but he's off balanace and he can't get a foot to it. Would have been an easy goal. Kiwis lucky.
85th minute: Smeltz with a Yellow for the All White. Clipped Pienaar's heels.
86th minute: A merciful God would end this early. It's getting a little chippy.
88th minute: Kiwis are gassed. Mashego with a great piece of individual effort to turn in the box and keep the ball. He floats it to himself then skies the shot. Holy shit... Mashego was finally onside and was in alone on the keeper but Moss made a great save. Both players turned to look for the flag thinking it was off. Nope. Just a good save.
Three minutes of stoppage time. Gaxa and Mashego are abusing the NZ defenders some more. The only thing they can't do is score.
Run you stupid fucking clock, run.
+3 minute: Vicelich gets a yellow for taking down Pienaar. Free kick for South Africa. from 25. It goes wide and the bench looks like they know they could have used another for GD.
Whistle. Final 2-0 South Africa.
And I'm spent. Thanks for playing.