Bafana, Santana's paths cross again

Friday, March 19, 2010
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - Bafana Bafana is expected to take on their former coach's team in a friendly match in Brazil on Saturday.

Bafana will play against one of the biggest clubs in Brazil, Botafogo, currently coached by Joel Santana..

Pressure mounted against Santana to resign after Bafana's eight successive defeats and just eight months before the kick-off of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

Carlos Alberto Parreira's re-appointment to the national team follows the recalling of his countryman, Santana, by the South African Football Association (SAFA) in November last year.

The Brazilian first took charge of the national soccer team in January 2006 with a contract seeing him through to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but he resigned, claiming that he wanted to be close to his ailing wife.

A win against their former head coach will boost the teams' confidence and fans alike, who always criticised Santana for playing defensive football.

However, Santana's team, Botafogo, is one of the four major football clubs in Rio de Janeiro along with Flamengo, Fluminense and Vasco.

Santana will use the match to prove that he knows a thing or two about football like his native and experienced Bafana coach, Parreira.

While Botafogo might be ranked ninth in Brazil Parreira's football tactics and innovative attacking strategies might help Bafana to secure a victory.

On Sunday, Bafana humiliated Fluminense 8-0 after playing to a goalless draw against Volta Redonda on Saturday.

On Monday, they beat Boavista 2-0, while on Wednesday they played to a goalless draw against Cruzeiro.

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