Game : South Africa v Iraq
Competition : Confederations Cup 2009
Venue : Coca Cola Park, Johannesburg
Date : 14 June 2009, Sunday,16.00 South African time.
Hosts South Africa play Bora Milutnovic’s Iraq in Johannesburg as the eight edition of the Confederations Cup kicks off this weekend in the rainbow nation.
South Africa would ideally like to win this game. The other two teams in the group are New Zealand and Spain, and the Bafana Bafana will be hoping to get full points against both Iraq and the All Whites.
Influential playmaker Steven Pienaar was a doubt with his ankle problem, but he seems to have recovered and will start the game.
South Africa results-last five games- all competitions
South Africa 1-0 Poland ( Terror Fanteni)
Portugal 2-0 South Africa
South Africa 2-1 Norway (Bernard Parker, Siphwe Tshabalala)
South Africa 0-2 Chile
South Africa 3-2 Cameroon ( Teko Modise*2, Parker)
As you can see, South Africa have notched up some impressive results in their last five international games. However they have a habit of doing well in pre tournament friendlies, and then faltering in the actual tournament.
Iraq qualified for this tournament by virtue of their triumph in the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, when they beat fancied Saudi Arabia in the final. They are making their debut in the Confederations Cup.
Nashat Akram and Hawar Mohammed both play for European clubs, and a lot is expected from this duo.
Iraq form- last five games- Iraq scorers in brackets
Iraq 1-1 Poland ( Mahdi Kareem)
Qatar 1-0 Iraq
South Korea 2-1 Iraq ( OG )
Saudi Arabia 0-0 Iraq
Iraq 1-1 Kuwait ( A. Abdul Zahra)
You have to fancy South Africa here. Despite their poor record in international competitions, I think they can get off to a winning start. South Africa to emerge 2-1 winners. Fanteni and Pienaar to score for South Africa, and Emad Mohammed to score for Iraq.
Bet at 12Bet after reading this preview.