Messi ran rings around Nigeria

Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk was particularly vocal about the Jabulani ball.

"So far every free kick I saw went far over the goal while cross passes proved hard to control," he said after training at Soccer City ahead of Monday's Group E opener against Denmark.

Germany's display of power and speed confirmed their status as potential winners along with Argentina, whose brilliant Lionel Messi ran rings round Nigeria on Saturday.

African pride swelled in Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld stadium, better known as the home of Springbok rugby as colourfully dressed fans and players danced to celebrate the Ghananian Black Stars' win from a penalty by Asamoah Gyan.

"Feel it, Ghana is here!" read one banner, imitating South Africa's official slogan for the World Cup.

Ghana reached the last 16 in 2006 and are one of Africa's best hopes, among a record six competing teams, to go further than the previous best showings of Cameroon and Senegal in reaching the quarter-finals.

Image: Argentina's Lionel Messi and Nigeria's Danny Shittu vie for possession