By Rob Deyzel
There is no doubting that Africa expects. Bafana Bafana as South Africa is fondly known, are the lowest ranked team in the competition. 83rd in the world to be exact, with even Iraq rated higher! It is without question that if it not for SA being the hosts of the world cup, that qualifying would have been pretty unexpected.
Photo from fOTOGLIF
So what chances do the hosts have? Not a very good one! But…….SA are the hosts. Remember the hosts of a world cup have always made it past the group stage and I have a feeling SA will somehow qualify. My optimism maybe born on the magic of the competition a little, but SA do have some good players.
Firstly we have the captain and an experienced player of sorts in Aaron Mokoena. The premiership defender/midfielder is a born leader, and in whatever position he plays Mokoena will be sure to lead Bafana Bafana with pride, courage and commitment. Then we have probably SA best player in Steven Pienaar. The Everton midfilder has been indepensible to Everton and with certainly will be a handful to any world class defender. Finally we have to mention Benni McCarthy the goalscoring machine and Matthew Booth the towering center back who is sure to frighten any striker coming his way. To be fair SA have weaknesses in all departments, but its the world cup. Anything can happen!
My prediction is simple. In front of SA home fans a nerve jangling 3-2 win over Mexico will please the fans and lead to a place in the last 16. A close loss in the last 16 will leave SA fans slightly disappointed, but happy in the knowledge that Africa is well and truly on the footballing map.