Thu 14 Jun 2018, 10:55
Relive some of the most epic World Cup openers before streaming today’s game on DStv Now.
Eight years have gone by since the FIFA World Cup came to Africa. Eight years since Siphiwe Tshabalala scored a majestic goal in the opening match in Soweto: who could forget his head down and his left foot swinging through the ball like a supercharged pendulum. And the cries of joy around FNB Stadium as Bafana Bafana took the lead against Mexico.
“Feel it, it is here,” was the slogan for the South African event, and feel it we did. Remember the hapless caller who said on a local radio station that “Philip is here”, so creating the first meme of the tournament? Philip is no more, but the clock is ticking down to the first match of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Russia host Saudi Arabia in this edition’s opener. It might not be the most glamorous match, with superstars such as Mohamed Salah, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo not set to play until Friday. Then again, World Cup opening matches tend to offer mixed fare. A look at the history books shows just that. It’s an unbelievable statistic, but between 1966 and 1978 every single opening match ended 0-0.
However, don’t fear, football fans, because many an opening match has produced an epic result.
1990: Argentina 0-1 Cameroon
With African teams, having failed to make an impact in previous editions, Cameroon stunned Argentina and the world thanks to Francois Omam-Biyik’s goal. The Indomitable Lions missed out in 2018 but back in 1990 they became the first African side to make the second round.
2002: France 0-1 Senegal
Set up by El-Hadji Diouf, Papa Bouba Diop’s scrappy goal was enough to beat a French side missing the talents of the injured Zinedine Zidane. It was a result that set the tone: Senegal reached the second round as France finished bottom of Group A and had to take an early flight back to Paris.
2014: Brazil 3-1 Croatia
It started badly for the Brazilians, conceding an early own goal to Croatia. Neymar pulled one back in the first-half and scored a controversial penalty to eventually ease the nerves. Oscar then grabbed a late third but the disjointed performance and flattering scoreline suggested that this wasn’t to be a Brazil side for the ages.
Will Russia manage to edge out the Saudis? Will they find their “Tshabalala moment”, or will Saudi Arabia spoil the party?
Find out by watching the game on SuperSport at 17:00 SA time on one of the two dedicated 24-hour World Cup pop-up channels, SuperSport 13 and 14, with live-match commentary options in English, Portuguese, Pidgin English, Swahili, isiZulu and SeSotho. Don’t forget to catch up on regular news updates on the popular Blitz channel.
But what if you won’t be at home? Stream the match on DStv Now on your mobile, tablet or your laptop from wherever you are.
How to set up DStv Now and stream all matches on the go
Because of the time difference between Russia and SA, some of the matches will be on at times when you really can’t - or don’t want to - be on the couch. Watch from wherever you are on your smartphone, laptop, tablet or desktop on SuperSport through DStv Now. Start watching now »
How to get the DStv Now app
2. Launch the app and login to your DStv account with your Connect ID.
3. Link your smartcard to your DStv Now account and start watching now!
No Connect ID? Here’s how to register for DStv Now and get a Connect ID
1. Go to now.dstv.com and click "Register" in the top right corner.
2. Enter a username, your email address and a password.
3. Click "Sign up".
4. Confirm the verification mail sent to your email address. This will direct you to the DStv Now site and will automatically login for you.
5. You also have the option of Google or Facebook-assisted Connect ID registration. You will not need to verify your email address for Connect ID if you've used either of these methods to register.
You will only need to sign in once on the app, unless you specifically log out.
How to watch the World Cup with DStv Now
1. Launch the DStv Now app.
2. Go to the Menu then navigate to Live TV > Sport. All the FIFA World Cup matches can be found on SuperSport channels.
3. Start watching!
Remember that channels on DStv Now depend on your DStv subscription - not all channels are available to all subscribers.