South Africa vs Mexico preview- Group A

Game :- South Africa vs Mexico

Competition :- 2010 FIFA World Cup

Venue :- Soccer City, Johannesburg

Date :- Friday, 11th June 2010

KO time:- 16:00 South African Time

Mexico will look to spoil the opening day party of hosts South Africa when the two teams meet in the opening game of the 2010 World Cup on Friday evening.

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There is renewed optimism among South African fans after seeing their team do well in recent international friendlies.

South Africa recent results- most recent first- goal scorers in brackets-

South Africa 1-0 Denmark ( Katlego Mphela)
South Africa 5-0 Guatemala ( Katlego Mphela*2, Surprise Moriri, Bernard Parker)
South Africa 2-1 Colombia ( Teko Modise, Katlego Mphela)
South Africa 1-1 Bulgaria ( S.Sangweni)
South Africa 4-0 Thailand ( Siphiwe Tshalabalala*2, Katlego Mphela, Bernard Parker)

Out of the people mentioned above, Katlego Mphela is the only one guaranteed a starting spot on Friday. The Sundowns striker has been in great form for Bafana as the statistics prove, and stands a good chance of netting against the Mexicans.

Bernard Parker could support Mphela if Parriera goes with two strikers upfront. Parreira also needs to take a decision as to where to field Steven Pienaar. If he plays two strikers, then he would only be able to take two of Pienaar, Modise and the ever improving Tshabalala in his starting XI. Pienaar has done well for Everton on the wings in the Premier League, but the coach is considering playing him behind Mphela in a supporting strikers’ role.

Mexico, coached by the wily Javier Aguirre, had a horrendous qualifying campaign in the beginning, but a change of coaches- Aguirre came in for the ineffective Sven Goran Eriksson, saw El Tri’s fortunes improve.

Aguirre is likely to give Guillermo Ochoa the nod ahead of veteran Oscar Perez in goal, especially given Mexico’s recent problems at defending set pieces.

Mexico form- recent results- goal scorers in brackets-

Italy 1-2 Mexico ( Carlos Vela, Alberto Medina)
Mexico 5-1 Gambia ( Javier Hernandez*2, Adolfo Bautista*2, Alberto Medina)
Holland 2-1 Mexico ( Javier Hernandez)
England 3-1 Mexico ( Guillermo Franco)
Mexico 1-0 Chile ( Alberto Medina)

Watch out for young Hernandez- he will join Manchester United in the summer, and all eyes will be on him during the summer.

Verdict:- South Africa will be keen to avoid defeat. Mexico have struggled in World Cups away from home.

South Africa 1-1 Mexico ( Katlego Mphela/ Alberto Medina)

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