Can the Bafana Bafana reach for the stars on their home turf? 34 years after the Soweto uprising, Carlos Alberto Parreira and his boys cross swords with Uruguay. World Cup hosts should have a clearer idea of their destinies after what promises to be a hotly contested encounter in the heartland of Pretoria.
Carlos Alberto Parreira, Bafana Bafana coach will take risks this Wednesday when his charges face Uruguay in the make or break 2010 World Cup second Group A showdown at Loftus.
Bafana Bafana managed a draw with Mexico during the opening game and a defeat would seal their fate, before facing France on Tuesday.
At a media briefing Tuesday, Parreira who has guided Bafana to a stunning 13 match unbeaten after being re-appointed last November looked calm as he said he does not want to leave it to the last game with France to qualify for next round.
Said Parreira: “We have to change our approach. Firstly we have to win one of the remaining two group games to qualify for the Round of 16. Three draws are no good. So that means taking risks and I am prepared to that against Uruguay. I do not want to leave it until the final match against France.”
He would not elaborate his new game plan.
Both teams drew their opening group matches and victory will virtually propel the 2010 World Cup hosts into the second round for the first time in Bafana’s history.
South Africans have failed to get past the group stage at the 1998 World Cup in France and again in the 2002 global event in South Korea.
Uruguay last won a World Cup game in 1990 against South Korea.
Parreira added: “Uruguay will be different. Mexico play like no other team in the World Cup. They attack with three strikers and two attacking wingbacks. They are solid in defence playing with three central defenders. But they have two dangerous strikers so we will have a new approach to this game.”
Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez are the danger men Parreira was referring to.
Bafana captain Aaron Mokoena said the players’ nerves had settled: “Mexico were probably the most difficult side I have faced. They were a tough team. But they are history and we gained confidence from that second half display. We are aware Uruguay are very experienced and have Forlan in attack. We will be ready and on our toes.”
Meanwhile, Bafana Bafana’s big game, which will certainly have a huge bearing on their chances of making it beyond the group stages, could not have come on a bigger day than on the occasion when the Rainbow Nation celebrates Youth Day.
On this day, 34 years ago, the youths of Soweto rebelled against an establishment built on the roots of the evil system of apartheid after the authorities decided to make it mandatory for black schools in the townships to use Afri-kaans as the official language of all teaching material.