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BEATEN 3-1 by England at London's Wembley Stadium on Monday night, a stealthy, skilled Mexican side did nothing to dispel the impression they will be a handful for Bafana Bafana in the much-anticipated World Cup opener at Soccer City on June 11.
Indeed, the ball-weaving Mexicans often had a more mundane England at sixes and sevens and the ultimate scoreline flattered the home team, if anything.
And it should remain imprinted as forcibly as an indelible stain that England are far more formidable adversaries than the tough but limited Bulgarians, who drew 1-1 with Bafana at Orlando Stadium while Mexico were handing out as good as they got against England.
What is more, Mexico are rated more than 20 places higher in the Fifa world rankings than 39th-placed Bulgaria and provided tangible evidence for this superiority in status at Wembley. But if anything emerged to catch the attention of seasoned Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, it was the apparent difficulty displayed by the central Americans in dealing with high crosses, which cost them two of England's three goals.
However, to capitalise on this, Bafana will need to unearth a striker with the heading ability of England beanpole Peter Crouch - while Parreira's uncompromising dictum for Bafana is to concentrate on carpet football instead of a stream of high balls into the goalmouth.
Significantly, Mexico are due to follow up their game against England with further top-level away matches against The Netherlands and World Cup holders Italy.
Bafana, in contrast, have not come up against a squad of Mexico's calibre in years while declining, in the process, to 90th in the world rankings. - Sapa