South Africa's newspapers Saturday declared the FIFA World Cup™ opener "Fantastic", revelling in scoring the tournament's first goal and in finishing the first day without major incident.
The Star newspaper ran a half-page photo of rapturous flag-waving fans at Soccer City across its front page, under a headline "Ayoba, Mzansi!" - meaning roughly "Awesome, South Africa!"
"Respect! That's what we earned yesterday. Defying the prophets of gloom and doom, South Africa pulled off a stunning FIFA World Cup opening ceremony, and Bafana Bafana followed that up with a heart-stopping draw against Mexico," the paper's front page read.
"That our footballers came agonisingly close to winning, after being written off as no-hopers by many people just a few months ago, showed that we are not a nation of unrealistic dreamers. We might dream, but we have the courage, the energy and the commitment to make those dreams come true."
Inside the paper ran a spread of photos of joyous fans under the headline "Fantastic", images seen across South African media. "Goal!" screamed the Weekend Argus in Cape Town, on a half-page photo of Siphiwe Tshabalala rejoicing after scoring the FIFA World Cup's first goal.
The Citizen mourned Bafana's near-victory, with a full page photo of a stunned Teko Modise as he narrowly missed a late-minute goal that would have taken the game. "Oh so close," the headline read. "Bafana almost pull off shock Cup victory."