USA – Ghana Recap (1-2 AET)
Woke up at 6 AM because Alex forgot it was Saturday and had factored in an extra hour for Joburg traffic. Leaving at 7AM to Kroonstad the roads were perfectly clear and Alex could actually go the speed limit of 120 Km. In addition, we were able to see the beautiful sunrise over the city.
We arrived at the KFC in Kroonstad just after 9 AM, expecting to wait an hour for the English to arrive, but just as we started to take out muffins and yogurt for breakfast the two young English guys from Hodge Podge Lodge pull up. Alex and I were both surprised to see them thinking it was quite a coincidence that they should pull into the same KFC as us, but since we have had a few of those by chance meetings with people on this trip it wasn’t too weird. When we saw them get out of the car with tickets in hand that is when we realized that this was England Alex. The last few days Alex and I had it in our head that England Alex was the older gentleman that we met at Moonlight Backpackers! Continue reading
This day has gone by so quickly!
We slept in this morning after our late night of celebration and by the time we were completely ready to check out of the Guest House it was a little after 12 pm.
We had planned to go to the Voortrekker museum, but changing our plans from Bloemfontein to Rustenburg occupied most of our day. Luckily it looks like we will have several extra days that we had not planned for in Joburg/Pretoria area so we are going to visit museums and monuments when we get back from the USA-Ghana game.
Went to the Translux ticket counter at the Joburg bus station this evening to inquire about refunding or exchanging our tickets that we had purchased from Joburg to Bloemfonetin. We have not had a lot of success with refunds thus far in South Africa (Gemini & Computicket), so I was not holding my breath. However, a lady at the Translux ticket counter was wonderful and quickly with no hassle agreed to refund our tickets cash back. Thank you Translux!
Alex from England contacted Alex this morning about meeting up to exchange our tickets and it was agreed upon that we would meet them half way in Kroonstad on Saturday to make the swap. I never thought I would ever get back to Kroonstad, South Africa in my life and I am going for my second time in a week period. Once we make the switch Alex and I are driving from Kroonstad to Rustenburg for the 8:30 kick off.
We had a delicious dinner (avo/bacon burger and surf&turf) at Mikes Kitchen where once again our iPad attracted some South Africans attention. Our meal was completed with two delightful after dinner drinks- Alex had hot chocolate with Amarula and I had Strawberry Cape Velvet with Amarula. Mo if you are ready this YES it was amazing; we forgot the camera tonight but will send a picture soon. Tonight we are staying at Leliewijk B&B in Benoni, which is quite lovely.
Tomorrow morning we are off to the airport to return our car and hopefully rent a new one that is not a Chevrolet. I’m crossing my fingers for a Toyota Corolla
The match up that was drawing comparisons to 1776, 1812, and 1950. To have this matchup, one with the country of my family and the country that made the biggest impact on my development as a person. Even though it was nearly 8 years to the day that I was skipping school to sneak off to watch England – Argentina at the 2002 World Cup, I remember that time vividly. That was the first World Cup game I watched in my soccer ‘enlightenment’ phase. Before that I had little concept of the world’s game, and even though I watched the ’98 final in Paris and the Euro 2000 final before that, they were simply events to be watched, not obsessed about. My time in England turned me into the person I am, soccer-wise and more. But in the following years I had reaffirmed my attached to US Soccer, most significantly through my work as a USSF referee. And it was this match up that had consumed the media and the two publics of these countries with the ‘special relationship’.