It was the two greatest touches of a football I had ever seen in my life. Hlompo Kekana. One touch to rid the enemy of the ball, one to thunder it from the halfway line, one touch for South Africa. The result may not have been plan A, but the moment will be permanently in the hearts and minds of all that had the privilege of witnessing it… Hlompo Kekana… click click, bang!
I remember two moments very clearly as a youngster. Watching David Beckham score his world famous halfway line goal in 1996, and I remember for my 10th birthday, going to watch a dreary Bafana Bafana draw it out with a weak Madagascar team.
My love for Bafana has never waivered, but at times watching the national team was a massive test of my patience. I remember looking at two worlds, the one where Beckham hammered in a half-way goal, and the one where we drew to Madagascar. I thought these worlds would never collide.
On Saturday the two worlds met. I think Kekana’s goal was a more significant moment than we initially realise. He showed us that South Africans can do anything that even the 'world superstars' else out there can. We can hang with the best.
I realize this was no acheivement... Grabbing one point in a qualifier is never ideal, but it was a moment, and a magic one at that. It may not have been the opening goal of the 2010 World Cup, or the winning goal of the 1996 AFCON tournament. What it was, was football in it's most beautiful form, and for once it happend in a South African jersey... This was pure magic for me.
The result may not have been exactly what we needed, but that team filled my heart with pride. A 2-2 draw against a Cameroon that hasn’t lost an international game at home since 1975. Many, including myself, questioned Shakes’ selection policy before this match, and there are some parts of it that I still question, but if we have the kind of coach that instills the kind of confidence in a player to take a crack from the halfway line, then he has my vote.
As a life long Bafana Bafana Supporter, I want to say that my heart is healed for now. Watching our two goals this weekend unleashed my spirit to the heavens. I do not know how this drama will end on Tuesday in Durban, but I do know that a team that plays with confidence can achieve anything. I think we have that team.
Hlompo Kekana… Thank you for that screamer of a goal. Go, Bafana, go!