Peaceful build-up to England game
England's friendly with local South African outfit Platinum Stars looked like passing off peacefully this afternoon.
Yesterday's stampede at Nigeria's friendly with North Korea in Johannesburg that led to 14 supporters requiring hospital treatment had raised fears about a similar disturbance as the Three Lions made their public appearance in Rustenburg this afternoon.
But the sedate nature of their entrance was at odds with those concerns.
Indeed, the main feature for England's players to spot by the side of the road as they made their way to the stadium were the countless goats grazing on the greenery that was growing out of the red South African soil.
Hundreds of schoolchildren delayed their walk home too, eager to catch a glimpse of Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham and Rio Ferdinand as they were bussed into the 20,000-capacity Moruleng stadium.
In taking the wise precaution of only distributing 14,000 tickets, the Football Association were hoping to limit the potential for problems.
FA officials visited the stadium again last night to reassure themselves all practical considerations had been taken, adamant that "we take safety very seriously," according to a spokesman for the organisation.
The obligatory vuvuzelas were being trumpeted by early arrivals into the stadium when England did arrive an hour before kick-off.
The match itself doubled up as the final practice against an opposition side for England ahead of their Group C opener against the United States on Saturday and the opening training session or match all 32 competing nations are obliged by FIFA to put on before the tournament begins on Friday.
Joe Hart was named in the England line-up to face the Platinum Stars in a practice match ahead of Saturday's World Cup opener with the United States.
The Manchester City keeper was given his opportunity to impress by Fabio Capello ahead of Robert Green and David James.
It was a strong-looking line-up, with the majority of the players expected to face Bob Bradley's side in the first eleven.
Ledley King, as expected, partnered John Terry in central defence as England look to find a replacement for injured skipper Rio Ferdinand.
Shaun Wright-Phillips was preferred to Aaron Lennon on the right flank while the Peter Crouch-Jermain Defoe partnership was being tried out up front.
With there being no limit on the number of permitted substitutes, Capello was expected to give most of the other members of his 23-man squad a run-out at some juncture during the 90 minutes.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
Raheem Sterling to Manchester City: Winger to report for Liverpool training on Monday but Reds braced for third City bid this week
Women's World Cup 2015: England secure third place as they beat Germany in extra time with penalty by Fara Williams
Toby Alderweireld to Tottenham: Atletico Madrid 'accept £11m bid' as Spurs beat Southampton to defender
Alexis Sanchez 'will miss start of Arsenal season' after Chile go all the way in Copa America
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 3 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 4 Motorists taunt suicidal woman on bridge and tell her to 'get on with it'
- 5 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office