Rustenburg, South Africa - The Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg provided a fitting venue for the hotly-anticipated clash between the so-called inventors of the game, England, and a USA side boasting a growing global reputation.
The two pre-tournament favorites to progress from Group C vied in a setting that was as atmospheric and all-together African as the organizers could have wished for.
With a faint fragrance of campfire smoke filling the cool night air, fans mingled and made merry in what was a party atmosphere in rural South Africa.
Fans of the USA soccer team are often derided by supporters of nations that boast a richer history of competition; but though their team have yet to win a major trophy, the passion shown by their followers is up there with the best of them.
Soweto, South Africa - It was quite simply one of the loudest and most colorful starts to a football match, but the players and the pitch were nowhere to be seen -– except on a giant TV screen.
More than 20,000 fans dressed in yellow and green descended on Soweto’s Elkah Stadium to witness the start of Africa’s first ever World Cup.
Crowds started to gather hours before the match eager to soak up the atmosphere, which could easily be summed up in one word: loud.