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Hosts with the most: Dunga

sports Updated: Jul 02, 2010 23:50 IST
Dhiman Sarkar

Diego Maradona did it during the group matches. Dunga did it before the quarterfinal (though it might have been more interesting to ask him after it). South Africa’s first World Cup has got the thumbs up from two previous winners here as coaches.

Even before Argentina played here, Maradona had sought to portray South Africa as the winner. During the group stage, the Argentina coach even said he was having a wonderful time. On Thursday, Dunga said the hosts have been outstanding.

“South Africa has played its part. Some of the reports we read before coming here made us think we should expect a fight here or at least a chaotic situation. What we have seen instead is the hospitality of the South Africans and their friendliness. I think they have been outstanding. South Africa has done what was expected of it,” he said.

Brazil have been based at the newly-built five-star Fairway Hotel and Spa that overlooks the downs of the Randpark golf course. Before here, they played in Johannesburg and Durban. The five-time champions have played twice at Ellis Park and once in Soccer City, both in Johannesburg, and took on Portugal in Durban.

Dunga said the only problem they’d faced here was that “some pitches were not what they should have been”. But he followed that up by saying that “any pitch is acceptable if we can shoot and score and the ball moves smoothly”. On Friday, unfortunately for him, his team didn't.