South Africa vs Mexico Preview – World Cup Group A

The 2010 World Cup is almost upon us and when South Africa step out to play Mexico in the tournament opener on Saturday 12th June at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, World Cup fever will be felt across the globe.

The World Cup opening ceremony will take place before the football finally begins with the first Group A match between South Africa and Mexico kicking off at midnight this Friday night (Melbourne time).

Millions of people around the world will be watching first game of the World Cup and South Africa will be abuzz this weekend.

During the qualifying rounds Kagisho Dikgacoi kicked multiple goals for South Africa and they scored at the low rate of 0.83 goals per game while Mexico had seven players kick 3 goals and they averaged an impressive 2 goals per game.

Sout Africa South Africa vs Mexico Mexico

When: Saturday June 12th (Friday night midnight)
Time: 12:00am AEST Melbourne time
Where: Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
TV: Televised live on SBS

The last meeting between these two sides was back in 2005 when South Africa were victorious over Mexico.

Last time they met
09.07.05 South Africa 2-1 Mexico – CONCACAF Gold Cup

Latest Form

South Africa (#83)
WON – 05/06/10 South Africa 1-0 Denmark – Friendly
WON – 31/05/10 South Africa 5-0 Guatemala – Friendly
WON – 27/05/10 South Africa 2-1 Colombia – Friendly
Draw – 24/05/10 South Africa 1-1 Bulgaria – Friendly
WON – 16/05/10 South Africa 4-0 Thailand – Friendly

South Africa has not lost at International level since last November when Spain beat them 2-0 in the Confederations Cup after a draw against Iraq (0-0) and a win over new Zealand (2-0).

The Bafana Bafana enter the World Cup on the back of some good recent form against lower profile nations but their most recent win over Denmark (#36) shows they will be more than competitive at the World Cup.

Katlego Mphela found the back of the net four times in the last three practice matches.

Mexico (#17)
WON – 03/06/10 Italy 1-2 Mexico – Friendly
WON – 30/05/10 Mexico 5-1 Gambia – Friendly
Loss – 26/05/10 Netherlands 2-1 Mexico – Friendly
Loss – 24/05/10 England 3-1 Mexico – Friendly
WON – 16/05/10 Mexico 1-0 Chile – Friendly

Mexico have some very solid lead up form behind them and they have beaten Chile, Gambia and Italy in the last month with losses to England and Netherlands squeezed in between.

Javier Hernandez has managed 3 goals of late with both Adolfo Herrera Bautista and Alberto Medina chipping in with 2 each.

South Africa vs Mexico Preview

South Africa
As host nation there will be plenty of pressure on South Africa to perform and they will either relish the opportunity and play above expected or they will succumb to the pressure and be the first host nation in history to fail to make it to the group stage.

The Bafana Bafana do not play attractive football but there is no denying they have been getting results, albeit againt weaker nations. South Africa like to restrict their opponents before trying hurt them on the rebound and opposition teams will find the host team very trying to score against and it makes for low scoring affairs.

South Africa will be hoping striker Katlego Mphela can keep up his good form in this match.

Mexico
The Mexicans have struck form at the right time and they have a tremendous record at this stage of the World Cup and it has been 32 years since they have failed to pass the group stage after qualifying for the World Cup.

Mexico have played four competing World Cup teams in recent practice matches with losses to England and the Netherlands and solid wins over Chile and Italy.

Javier Hernandez is in good form up front and players like Giovani Dos Santos make the Mexicans a more than capable outfit and recent form suggests they are ready to go and will give South Africa something to think about.

Sportsbet odds for South Africa and Mexico

South Africa 2.75
Draw 3.20
Mexico 2.60

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Match Prediction

South Africa will be under enormous pressure to succeed and they are playing an in-form experienced team with a proven track record of performing in the group stage of the World Cup and we believe Mexico will grab the first win of the World Cup over a gallant home nation.

Mexico to win (2-0 or 2-1) @ $2.60 at Sportsbet

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