IF the Free State's 32 Schools Mini World Cup could be used as an indication of how the real McCoy will turn out, then the football fraternity should brace itself for shocks and surprises galore.
The quarterfinals of this event, played at the weekend in Odendaalsrus, produced some unlikely semifinalists.
In reality, though, the schools that went through did so deservedly and are a true reflection of the state of football in the province's schools.
The countries they represent should hope things turn out the same at the 2010 Fifa World Cup from June 11 to July 11.
For Africa, Ivory Coast (Louis Botha High School) overcame an obstinate Italy (Metsimaphodi) with a narrow 3-2 win in an exciting game to book a place in the semis.
Serbia (Kutlwanong) pipped France (Ntsu) 1-0 in another nail-biting encounter to set up a date with Ivory Coast (Louis Botha) in the first semifinal.
A semifinal that would have been the dream final for the event was set up when tournament favourites Australia (Harmony Academy) ran riot in their game against Uruguay (Evungweni) with a 4-1 humiliation, while Switzerland (Kgoro ya Thuto) disposed of Paraguay (Lere la Thuto) 3-1.
The semifinals of the competition coordinated by football legend Mike "Sporo" Mangena are slated for May 14 in Bloemfontein.