Bafana confident of a win against Uruguay

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pretoria-Bafana Bafana expect a win against Uruguay in their second group A match which will put them in a better position to progress to the next round of the tournament.

The host nation, which drew 1-1 against Mexico during the opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, will face Uruguay at Loftus Versfeld stadium on Wednesday evening as the country commemorates Youth Day in style.

If Bafana draw their remaining matches with both Uruguay and France, they will be knocked out of the mega-tournament and they will also break the record by becoming the first host nation to be booted out of the World Cup in the group stages.

Skipper, Aaron Mokoena described today's encounter as a must win match. "It will be very good to win this match on Youth Day. Playing this match on this special day means a lot to us as players.

"As for Uruguay, they are very experienced side, they defend very well and have fantastic two strikers among them Diego Forlan who is full of confidence, but we have done our homework, and we are looking forward to the game," he said.

Head coach, Carlos Parreira agreed with his captain, adding that the first match against Mexico has taught Bafana a few things and has prepared them well for the clash against Uruguay.

"The most difficult game for us was the first our opening match against Mexico when the whole world was watching.

"There was a lot of pressure and with that match behind us we are now more confident to face a good team like Uruguay comprised of players from top leagues," he said.

Parreira said it was going to be an open game for both teams because the competition is tight and they both have two games remaining.

"Those who want to qualify for the second round have to win at least one of those two games, otherwise we are not going through and it's open for all of us, South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay and France," he said.

However, if any of the four teams don't win today, they still have the final matches to turn things around; meaning that group A could be decided on the last match.

Parreira said when Bafana face Uruguay, the approach and the philosophy of the game will be a little more different.

Bafana defender Siboniso Gaxa is confident that tonight will be Bafana's night.

"Let's not make a mistake; it's going to be another tough match for both teams. All we need to do is to be on our best on the night and ensure we don't start as slow as we did against Mexico.

"Our defence played a major role during that period and we need to attack from the word go. The most important thing is that we must just make sure that we do our level best to achieve the best results," he said.

However, it won't be a walk in the park for Bafana as Uruguay is a formidable side and are ranked 16 in the FIFA World rankings.

Uruguay is two time World Cup winners and this includes the first World Cup in 1930 as hosts. They won their second title in 1950. In their opening group A match last week Friday, Uruguay held the 1998 World champions, France to a goalless draw.

Bafana have met Uruguay twice and the visitors managed to beat Bafana 4-3 at the 1997 Confederations Cup, before they drew 0-0 in a 2007 friendly.