Thousands of English fans might still be venting their disappointment as their team notched up the second straight draw in the World Cup on Friday night – this time a goalless draw against Algeria in Cape Town – but most of them love the Mother City.
“Cape Town and South Africa – phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal, we can’t say better things about it. People are friendly and the weather has been somewhat good,” said Deepon Sengupta, from London.
Sengupta is travelling with three other friends, one of them Gideon Adler, said he felt letdown by England’s performance.
“It’s the worst live game I’ve ever seen. I’ve just paid e5 000 to come and see Wayne Rooney not have a shot on target. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” said Adler, also from London.
The four, who have been in the city for 10 days, were at the Cape Town Convention Centre grabbing a bite to eat, but left minutes before famed big-beat DJ Fatboy Slim came on.
But for Nick Fraser, from Stoke-on-Trent, Cape Town is the “best city” he’s ever been to.
Fraser is hoping for at least a draw against Slovenia in the next match, which is the best one can hope for, “because England can’t score”.
“I thought we were bloody awful, England. No traditional play, Gerrard and the others didn’t know what they were doing,” he said.
Chris Oxtoby, a South African soccer enthusiast and fan, believed England’s performance had been “sluggish”.
The stadium was packed out with about 30 000 English fans covered with red and white and hundreds of English flags.
Even the call of “God Save the Queen” during the 75th minute, the constant banging on a drum or shouts of “England” which were so loud they overpowered the sound of vuvuzelas, did not end up making a difference to Steven Gerrard’s team.
Before the match English supporters were in high spirits, as most of them had predicted a whitewash against Algeria.
“We’re gonna win 4-0 mate, we’re gonna smash them,” said Tom “Bostin” Hingles, from Wolverhampton, about three hours before kick-off.
But he was far off the mark, with England failing to capitalise despite six shots on goal, while Algeria enjoyed just one shot on goal.
The moment that summed up the match came during injury time when referee Ravshan Irmatov awarded a free kick against England for a foul and Wayne Rooney punched the pitch in anger.
The Cool Brittania party at the Cape Town Convention Centre, which featured Fatboy Slim on Friday night, runs for the duration of the World Cup.