South Africa ran out a heartening 4-0 victory over Thailand on Sunday to open their new World Cup stadium in Nelspruit.
World Cup hosts rule at new stadium
South Africa ran out a heartening 4-0 victory over Thailand on Saturday to open their new World Cup stadium in Nelspruit.
The triumph marks South Africa's biggest win since they returned to international football in 1992 following a long period of sporting isolation, and boosts morale as the World Cup hosts prepare for next month's tournament.
Katlego Mphela grabbed two goals in three minutes in the first half after Siphiwe Tshabalala had drawn first blood for South Africa in the 22nd minute with a curling free kick.
Mphela, who is hoping to helm the South African attack at the World Cup, tapped in from a corner missed by the Thai goalkeeper for the second on the half hour mark.
He completed his double off a solid pass from Teko Modise, while Bernard Parker wrapped up the rout in the final minute after powering through the Thai defence and slotting the ball under the goalkeeper.
Thailand were the first of a host of opponents South Africa will face over the next three weeks, with warm-up games lined up against Bulgaria, Colombia and Denmark.
South Africa will face France, Mexico and Uruguay in Group A in the World Cup.
The Nelspruit Stadium, which will host four matches at the World Cup finals, was the second last of 10 venues to open.