South Africa had its entire country at the edge of its seat today in the opening game of the 2010 World Cup as they maintained a 1-0 lead deep into the second half. But, Mexico's veteran midfielder Rafael Marquez netted the equalizer in the 79th minute and that's the way it remained as each team mustered a point to start the world's most popular tournament.

With vuvuzelas blaring for 90-plus minutes, South Africa proved it has every intention of advancing out of Group A despite being the lowest-ranked team of the quad. Siphiwe Tshabalala's sublime, left-footed strike in the 55th-minute gave the host nation a 1-0 lead.

PHOTOS: World Cup 2010 highlights

Late in the game, South Africa's Katlego Mphela made a nice run into the box, but couldn't get a good boot on his shot, which clanked off the outside of the near post. Mexico's biggest near-miss wasn't a miss at all. They scored off a corner in the first half, but the goal was called back due to offside.

In the other Group A match, Uruguay takes on France at 2:30 p.m.


South Africa's next assignement is Wednesday against Uruguay at 2:30 p.m. Mexico takes on France Thursday at 7:30 a.m.

advertisement | advertise on newsday