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South Africa ready for World Cup as Socceroos fly in

The Socceroos landed in South Africa on Wednesday ahead of their first World Cup group match on 13 June
The Socceroos landed in South Africa on Wednesday ahead of their first World Cup group match on 13 June
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Australia is first football team to arrive in South Africa ahead of the World Cup
  • The Socceroos were the first team to qualify and will play Germany in their first match
  • Five-time winners Brazil also arrived in South Africa on Thursday
  • 90,000 extra World Cup tickets will go on sale on Friday morning
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(CNN) -- World Cup CEO Danny Jordaan has said South Africa is ready for the start of the 2010 World Cup which begins on 11 June, as the Australian national team became the first participating side to arrive in the host country.

The Socceroos landed in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening, where they will train for their opening group match of the World Cup against Germany on 13 June.

"We are pleased to welcome Australia as the first team to arrive in our country. We all know that the stadiums are all ready, everything is in place and now the teams are finally here," Jordaan told the official FIFA Web site.

"More importantly though, our people are ready. From now, we have to concentrate on the kickoff match in a few days' time."

Wednesday also saw the official handover of the brand-new Cape Town Stadium -- which reportedly cost $350 million to build -- in the presence of FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke.

Another 90,000 World Cup tickets will go on sale to the public on Friday morning -- including tickets for the opening games, semifinals and final. FIFA have also said that there are approximately 160,000 tickets -- out of the total 2.88 million available -- which remain unsold.

Five-time World Cup winners Brazil joined Australia in South Africa on Thursday -- their opening match against North Korea will take place on 15 June at Johannesburg's Ellis Park Stadium.

"I am very impressed by the Brazilian team," the chairman of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee South Africa, Irvin Khoza told the FIFA Web site.

"The arrival of Brazil gives great confidence to all South Africans that this World Cup is really happening."

Meanwhile, the host nation registered a morale-boosting 2-1 victory over Colombia in Johannesburg on Thursday night, with all three goals coming from the penalty spot.

Midfielder Teko Modise put Bafana Bafana ahead in the 18th minute in front of a crowd of 75,000 in the first international match at the new Soccer City stadium, though he was lucky to have a second attempt after the referee ruled that goalkeeper David Ospina moved too early before saving his first effort.

Giovanni Moreno leveled three minutes later for Colombia, who did not qualify for the World Cup, with a spot-kick after Adrian Ramos was fouled.

Striker Katlego Mphela's 58th-minute winner left South Africa unbeaten in nine matches since Carlos Alberto Parreira returned for his second spell as coach.

Parreira's team continue their preparations against Guatemala on Monday before a June 5 clash with fellow finalists Denmark, who won 2-0 at home to Senegal on Thursday.

Earlier, Honduras drew 2-2 with Belarus in Austria, while Chile beat Zambia 3-0 with two goals from Italy-based striker Alexis Sanchez and fellow South American qualifiers Uruguay crushed Israel 4-1 after a late double from substitute Sebastien Abreu.

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