The sound of a lone, weak vuvuzela beckoned us as we walked back to our Cape Town guesthouse after an afternoon at the waterfront. The shouting and thumping of a ball echoed over the high walls of the school down the street from where we are staying. A game of soccer. We just had to watch it for a little bit, knowing the real action doesn’t start for nearly a week.
It was a Pick N Pay (South Africa grocery) Employee XI versus the Pick N Pay Suppliers XI in the second of a series of “friendly” matches. We joined the action midway through the first half and witnessed two goals, one of them a penalty, at least 22 offside calls, late tackles flying in all over the pitch, a massive amount of cursing and too many missed scoring opportunities to count.
The quality of play was a bit lower than what we’ll be seeing in South Africa in a week’s time but it was still quite entertaining, especially with the incredible view of Table Mountain in the background. We left at halftime with the score 2-1 to the Suppliers, who won the first match 11-4.