South Africa has played in three world cups which were held in 1998, 2002 and 2010. They have never managed to qualify for the Quarterfinals meaning that they have never managed to be first or second in their groups during world cup matches.
South Africa became the first country in the history of football when they failed to progress from the first round of their matches during the 2010 World Cup which was hosted by them. Since the world cup started it was the first time the hosts were knocked out in the group stages and that did not go well with South African football fans.
During the 1998 World Cup in France, South Africa was in the same group as France who went on to win the World Cup. They were up against the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Thiery Henry, Patrick Vieira and other famous French players. Since then Zidane became the brand of world football and his career blossomed.
The first player to score a goal for South Africa in a world cup match is Benni McCarthy who scored in a 1 all draw with Denmark. The match came after the 3 -0 defeat by host nation France who were on fire during the match which saw Pierre Issa scoring a few own goals for South Africa. The goalkeeper was Hans Vonk who was then playing for Ajax Amsterdam in Holland.
In the third match Shaun Bartlett scored 2 goals for South Africa in a 2 all draw with Saudi Arabia. The match was very difficult and South Africa was expecting a win and they went in to the field with a bit of disrespect for Saudi Arabia and they were very frustrated throughout the match.
In the 2002 world cup first match South Africa played against Paraguay and the result was a 2 all draw where Aaron Mokoena and Quinton Fortune scored for South Africa. The match was one of the best in the group and was very entertaining. South Africa should have won the match if they did not lose concentration.
In the second match South Africa played Slovenia and won the match by 1 goal to 0 trough Siyabonga Nomvete. By then South Africa had already collected 4 points and were looking forward to play in the quarter finals as they thought 4 points were enough to secure a spot in the quarter finals.
In the third group stage match South Africa had to play Spain who had the likes of Raul. The game ended 3 – 2 win for Spain and the scorers for South Africa were Benni McCarthy and Lucas Radebe. The loss meant that South Africa had to pack their bags and go home.
In 2010 Siphiwe Tshabalala scored South Africa’s first goal against Mexico and was included in the history’s books as the firs African player to score a goal in a first world cup in Africa. The match ended 1 all and it was supposed to be a win for South Africa.
In the second match South Africa were beaten by the best Uruguay side by 3 goals to 0. South African strikers were nowhere to be seen as Diego Forlan and enjoyed the game with 2 goals under his belt. The supporters went quite for the entire match and could not believe their team were humiliated at home.
In the last match South Africa played France and won the match by 2 goals to 1 but that did not guarantee them a spot in the quarterfinals and they became the first country not to advance to the second round as hosts. The goal scorers in the match were Bongani Khumalo and Katlego Mphela. They had to watch the rest of the tournament from the stands as fans.