Bafana have to beat Conmebol jinx
Could our newly activated south American connection (read Carlos Alberto Parreira) present a solution and get the South American monkey off our backs?
Bafana Bafana go into Ellis Park tonight at 8.30 looking for their maiden win over South American opposition.
Since our readmission into international competition back in 1992, Bafana Bafana have played seven games against Conmebol (South American Football Confederation) teams and their best results were draws against Argentina (1-1), Brazil (0-0), Paraguay (2-2) and Ecuador (0-0), while they lost the rest.
These statistics offer no reason for optimism ahead of tonight's clash but Bolivia are the weakest of the 10 Conmebol teams.
They are 101 on the Fifa world rankings and from Fifa records, they have not been the most active of teams.
Their last game was an emphatic 5-1 home win over El Salvador in December. Before that they had lost 5-1 to Peru, drew 1-1 with Brazil at home, lost 2-1 to Ecuador and 4-1 to Paraguay (both at home).
After beating Chad 3-0 at the weekend, Parreira said the team that started on Saturday would form the nucleus of the team this evening.
"I might change one, two players but I will also take advantage of the five substitutions and give some players a run," said the Brazilian.
Of the squad that travelled to Chad, the only change was the inclusion of Orlando Pirates left-back Innocent Mdledle, who played for the Olympic team against Uganda last Saturday.
It is difficult to predict which of the players that sat out the Chad game would get the nod but Parreira will be tempted to field an attacking team to keep the winning momentum.
The Bolivian national team landed yesterday morning and opted for only one training session at the match venue yesterday evening.
Tickets are on sale at Computicket outlets at R20 for adults and juveniles.
Bafana's full record against South American teams:
l Murcia, Spain: Bafana 0, Ecuador 0 (April 17 2002);
l Busan, South Korea: Bafana 2, Paraguay 2 (June 2 2002);
l Buenos Aires: Bafana 0, Argentina 2 (May 25 1998);
l Johannesburg: Bafana 1, Brazil 2 ( December 7 1997);
l Saudi Arabia: Bafana 3, Uruguay 4 (December 17 1997)
l Johannesburg: Bafana 0, Brazil 0 ( April 24 1996); and
l Johannesburg: Bafana 1, Argentina 1 (May 13 1995).