Carnival atmosphere ahead of SA quarterfinal against Mali
02 February 2013 | Sapa
Roads leading up to the Moses Mabhida Stadium were all closed, but thousands of fans, draped in South Africa colours and waving the national flag, were slowly making their way towards the venue, where a 56,000-strong capacity crowd was expected.
Only a few hundred chose to arrive early, and they had their eyes firmly fixed on the giant screens inside the ground where the first last eight tie between Ghana and Cape Verde Islands in Port Elizabeth was being screened.
Hosts Bafana Bafana have qualified for the knockout stages for the first time in 11 years and, as much as there is expectation, those arriving at the stadium appeared to be relaxed rather than anxious ahead of the 8.30pm kick-off.
Coach Gordon Igesend has spoken this week about how making it out of their group has eased the pressure, saying: "I think there was a lot of pressure on the teams to get through the first round, for us as host it was extreme.
"I think that has lifted a little bit. I think the players have started to understand now that we are very capable."
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