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SAfrica beats Burkina Faso in game for Mandela

Saturday - 8/17/2013, 11:10am  ET

South Africa's Lerato Chabangu, left, is challenged by Burkina Faso's Issouf Dayo, right, during their Nelson Mandela Sports and Cultural Day soccer match at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

AP Sports Writer

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- South Africa celebrated Nelson Mandela with a doubleheader of soccer and rugby at in the Soweto area of Johannesburg on Saturday.

The national team beat Burkina Faso 2-0 in a friendly dedicated to South Africa's 95-year-old anti-apartheid hero and former president, who has been hospitalized recently. Between games, a South African Airways jet flew low over the 90,000-seat FNB Stadium that hosted the World Cup final three years ago.

Later Saturday, the Springboks will open their Rugby Championship campaign against Argentina. The spectacle was reminiscent of the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Then, Mandela, famously wearing the national team jersey, inspired a newly-democratic, post-apartheid South Africa to victory on that occasion in one of the country's most poignant and unifying moments.

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