Going into any event, whether it’s a kickabout with your friends or going into the world’s biggest football event, you’ll always feel better with momentum on your side.
Bafana Bafana are looking good friends with big mo at the moment as the hosts enter the 2010 World Cup on the back of a 12 match unbeaten run which started with the goalless draw with Japan back in November last year.
The latest victory, a 5-0 win against Guatemala was very much an energetic and positive performance as we took apart a poor Guatemalan side.
The 5-0 performance featured many plusses as Aaron Mokoena earned his 100th cap, a good goalkeeping performance by stand in keeper Moeneeb Josephs and a bright attacking performance, the highlight of which was two goals for Katlego Mphela and a stunning 5th goal by Bernard Parker.
Although it was a self-assured performance, it’s an understatement to say that we’ll play better teams in the World Cup but we can only beat the teams that are put in front of us and we did that magnificently well on Monday evening. We’ve also played a few quality teams this month. In our 1-1 draw with Bulgaria we played a team who narrowly failed to qualify from a tricky group and who are packed with skilful players such as Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov. This game was followed up with a 2-1 win over Columbia, who are always a difficult team to get a result against.
So what does this unbeaten run mean for Bafana? It will definitely give us a lift when we go into the tournament. When the draw was made back in December, not many people were giving us a chance of progressing past Group A. Hopefully now, not only is the team believing in themselves but so also are the thousands of supporters across South Africa. Hopefully the friendly against Denmark in Soccer City on Saturday will serve to cement the confident build up to the World Cup that we’re experiencing.
A quick note before I go on Benni McCarthy being left out of the World Cup squad. Although this must have been an extremely difficult decision for Parreira I think the right one was taken. McCarthy has not played much football for West Ham this season and even before this choice was made, the club’s Chairman David Sullivan was commenting that he was hoping that McCarthy would go to the World Cup if only to lose a few pounds. I hope though that when reflecting on McCarthy’s omission people realise what an outstanding contribution South Africa’s record scorer has made to the International team. I hope this isn't the last we see of him in a South Africa shirt.
Thanks for reading! Don’t forget, you can also follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/PaulJohno500 for updates and random musings!
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