Curtain call for fanatical Free State
With the excitement of last night's upset - seeing the USA knock out Spain - still hanging in the air, the city of Mangaung/Bloemfontein was still in high spirits as their FIFA Confederations Cup tenure came to an end.
For Mangaung 2010 co-ordinator, George Mohlakoana, it has been an experience the city will never forget.
"Overall the tournament went extremely well. Looking back at the four matches we hosted it was such a great experience and the city really came alive. Everywhere you went there was talk of the Confederations Cup."
For Mohlakoana it was the teams and the fans that really made the tournament for Mangaung.
"The calibre of the teams was so great, we even had Spain playing here three times. On top of this the teams that played here did extremely well, with Egypt holding their own against Brazil and the USA actually beating Spain. The response we have received from the local fans has been great too," said Mohlakoana.
"This tournament was a demonstration to the world that we (Mangaung) are a stronghold of passionate football supporters. People from around the world now know that this is where you will find passion for football," he continued.
For the city's most passionate football fan, Botha Msila, who is known throughout the country for his fanatical support of local team, Bloemfontein Celtic, the last two weeks have been some of the best in the city.
"The tournament was out of this world. It really gives us an idea of of what good things to expect next year for 2010," said Msila, who attended every FIFA Confederations Cup game held at the Free State stadium.
And with the likes of Spain, South Africa, Brazil, Egypt, Iraq and the USA all taking to the field at Free State stadium, Msila certainly was not disappointed with the games that he attended.
For Msila, Mangaung came alive during the FIFA Confederations Cup and he can only imagine what it will be like in one-year's time when the 2010 FIFA World Cup gets underway.
"In the city the mood has been so high, people have been doing whatever they can to watch the matches, some even missing work. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to watch matches like this and we had that opportunity," continued Msila.