|ESPNsoccernet: World Cup 2010|
South Africa goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has described the atmosphere in the opening game of the World Cup as a "letdown" and urged local fans to make more noise with their vuvuzelas in the country's remaining two group games.
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After a lavish opening ceremony, South Africa drew 1-1 with Mexico in a game that introduced the noisy vuvuzela to a global audience, with just less than 85,000 fans in attendance at Soccer City.
But Khune, who made a number of good saves throughout the game in Johannesburg, complained that South Africa did not have the backing they expected from the home supporters.
"We couldn't hear the vuvuzelas," Khune said. "We expected to hear them and to be lifted by the people and the noise and the atmosphere. It was a letdown.
"It was very disappointing for us. It was very surprising. We thought there were going to be a lot more South African fans there.
"The atmosphere was not that good. It was not what we expected. There were a lot of Mexican fans there. It was like a Mexico home game. It was a Mexican advantage."
South Africa's second group game comes against Uruguay, who drew 0-0 with France on Friday night, and Khune wants the home support to be louder in order to tip the balance in the favour of Bafana Bafana.
"We have to hope that more of them come out when we play Uruguay," Khune said. "We need it. We need their support. When a team plays at home in a World Cup it should have an advantage. You expect that.
"But we didn't have it and it is because the South African people didn't buy tickets. It does make a difference. It lifts the team when you need it. When it is a very close game there are many times when you need a lift. It could have helped us today."