Bafana's confidence will improve

Friday, June 11, 2010

Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira believes the national squad will be more confident in their remaining Group A matches - now that they are through with their nerve-wracking Opening Match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Bafana Bafana held Mexico to a 1-1 draw in the enthralling opening encounter this afternoon.

"The first game is always a lot of pressure for both teams," Pareirra said after the match.

"Both teams tried to win and I believe in the next game the team will be more confident," he said.

The boys in green and yellow take on Uruguay on June 16 at Loftus Versveld and then face France in Bloemfontein.

Both teams started the opening FIFA match this afternoon adopting a careful approach, however few minutes later the visitor's strikers, Paul Aguilar and Giovani Dos Santos caused problems for the Bafana defence.

The two strikers kept at testing goal-keeper Itumeleng Khune's strength - who responded with his great saves. The Mexican players denied Bafana space to run on the field by closing down the link between Steven Pienaar, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Teko Modise.

However, when Bafana got a chance to attack, Modise easily gave the ball away to the opponents.

Shortly after Bafana's lethal striker, Katlego "Killer" Mphela missed a beautiful cross from Tshabalala with an inch, the El Tri scored from a corner-kick, but the referee Ravshan Irmatov disallowed it as he ruled it an off side.

During the half-time break, the score line was still goal-less. In the second-half, Bafana head coach substituted Lucas Thwala, who was struggling to close down Dos Santos, and was replaced by Tsepo Masilela.

It was in the 54th minute when Bafana Bafana punished the Mexicans with a counter-attack. Teko Modise gave Tshabalala a beautiful pass.

Shabba did not disappoint as he made a good run from an acute angle before he could unleashed a volley from a close range to put his side on the lead.

Tshabalala who was also marking the 50th cap gave his local fans more strength to blow their vuvuzelas.

Bafana Bafana who were all over the Mexicans should have scored two more goals as Modise wasted two goal-scoring opportunities while left with only the goal keeper to beat.

In the 79th minute, Barcelona defender, Rafael Marquez equalised after Bafana ran out of steam. Bafana defender Tsepo Masilela left Marquez alone.

Four minutes before the referee blew the final whistle, the 84 490 fans were quite sure that Mphela was going to put Bafana in the lead after he outpaced the opponents defence and goal keeper, but he was unlucky as his shot hit the cross-bar.

Today's line up in the South African team included Itumeleng Khune, Siboniso Gaxa, Aaron Mokoena, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Katlego Mphela, Teko Modise, Steven Pienaar (Bernard Parker), Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Lucas Thwala (Tsepo Masilela), Bongani Khumalo.

The Mexican team included Oscar Perez, Fransico Rodriguez, Carlos Salcido, Rafael Marquez, Ricardo Osorio, Gerardo Torrado, Guillermo Franco, Carlos Vela, Paul Aguilar, Efrain Juarez, Giovani Dos Santos.