South Africa ready to take on Mexico

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It’s kick off time as hosts South Africa take on Mexico for the opening game of the 2010 World Cup. Bafana’s Carlos Alberto Parreira has revealed his line-up as he was promising “hell” to the South Americans.

Bafana Bafana head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has announced his first 11 during a last press conference ahead of the clash against Mexico this afternoon.

Said Parreira: “I will start with the same 11 that beat Denmark 1-0 (at the Super Stadium) last Saturday.”

Parreira said: “I am more than satisfied with the side that started against Denmark so there is no need to change. I am confident we can deliver the goods.”

Parreira said he will give one piece of important information to his players before the leave the dressingroom on Friday afternoon: “My message to them will be to go out and enjoy the game.”

South Africa and Mexico are genuine distant favourite for the title when the final is played on July 11 but the reason darkhorses exist is justification enough to count their luck for the coveted prize.

Hosts South Africa is boosted with the overwhelming home support from locals as victory in the opening match assures sustainability of the prevailing vibrant atmosphere.

Mexico, making their 13th appearance since the first World Cup in 1930, should be ready to dare a vuvuzela-propelled home fans and walk out of Soccer City with maximum points.

Neither side have won the prize but Mexico have made an impressive appearance at the tournament while South Africa’s two trips – France 98 and Korea/Japan 02 – ended at first round stage.

Bookmakers give Mexico the urge in today’s match, considering their football pedigree and the quality of skillful players in the team, but Bafana Bafana’s hopes rest in the patriotic home spirit.

Mexico are a decent 17th on the FIFA world ranking compared to South Africa’s placing outside the top 50, only settling for 81st slot for recently improving by seven steps – as May’s best movers – ahead of the big party.

 South Africa : Khune – Gaxa, Mokoena (cap.), Khumalo, Thwala – Letsholonyane, Dikgacoi, Modise, Pienaar – Tshabalala, Mphela

 Mexico Ochoa – Osorio, Rodriguez, Marquez (cap.), Salcido – Juarez, Torrado, Aguilar – Dos Santos, Hernandez, Vela

 Previous meetings

1993 (Los Angeles, friendly): Mexico 4 South Africa 0

2000 (Dallas, friendly): Mexico 4 South Africa 2

2005 (Los Angeles, Continental Final): Mexico 1 South Africa 2

2010 World Cup  South Africa's preparation to host the games on African soil for the first time but also individual African countries' determination to take part in the historic event. Five African countries - Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria, South Africa and Ghana - are selected to join twenty seven teams from around the world to battle it out on the football pitch for the gold trophy. One by one, the African teams are eliminated, but Africans will not be bogged down as they rally behind their compatriots on the wings of the vuvuzela, a far cry from the near diplomatic row between Algeria and Egypt during the qualifiers. Ghana are the last team to leave but not before African unity becomes reality...
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