The World Cup is always one of the most anticipated sports events in the world. Fans count down the days, cheer their favorite teams to get the past qualification stage, and progress to the next round. Some tend to get more involved in the game through platforms like sportybet.
Each country has strived to be part of the World Cup since it got first televised in 1954. South Africa is no different, and amid a rise in the popularity of the game in the country, we take a look at their most notable moments in the competition to date.
South Africa’s first appearance in the tournament came in 1998 in France. They started on an underwhelming note and lost 3-0 to France in their opening game. Although this wasn’t a big surprise as France, who lifted the trophy in that edition, are amongst the best teams in the history of the game, and came very close to winning back-to-back World Cup in 2022. Argentina eventually managed to get the better of them in the final.
South Africa, meanwhile, in 1998 only bagged two points during the group stages and failed to progress any further, finishing in third place.
But their performance against Denmark and Saudi Arabia was still celebrated, especially when considering it was their first attempt on the big stage.
Korea and Japan, 2002
Korea and Japan shared the responsibility of hosting the event during the turn of the century. South Africa couldn’t progress to the next round yet again, only mustering third place finish after losing against Paraguay and drawing to Slovenia.
The next competition was even worse, as they couldn’t qualify to play in Germany in 2006. However, another African side Ghana enjoyed an impressive tournament and played in the knockout stages.
South Africa, 2010
The most memorable World Cup for the nation, as they got made their first appearance in the competition on home soil by hosting the tournament in 2010. World Cup songs and anthems from several big artists enjoyed a big success heading into the main event.
Another special thing about this World Cup was that South Africa managed to exact their revenge by beating France 2-1. They also shared the spoils with Mexico.
But a 0-3 loss against Uruguay meant they couldn’t progress to the knockout stages yet again. France finished fourth, while Uruguay and Mexico advanced further. The third-placed finish meant South Africa became the first-ever WC host to not appear in the next stage of the competition.
Overall, South Africa still have done well in the World Cup. There’s still a long way to go but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be expected to not only qualify but impress in the next World Cups.