red tide rises

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

South African soccer fans should brace themselves for exciting football when Manchester United take on Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates in the Vodacom Challenge later this month.

The English and European champions will not be taking any prisoners when they land on these shores to take on the Absa Premiership's Soweto giants.

They will meet these two sides at three different venues with the first game being against Chiefs in Cape Town on July 19, the second in Durban against Pirates and the final in Pretoria against the winner between Chiefs and Pirates.

United, who visited South Africa in 2006 and lost to Amakhosi on penalties in the final of the same event, will be bringing along the likes of Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand.

But they will be without Christiano Ronaldo who checked out of an Amsterdam hospital on Tuesday, after undergoing surgery to remove cartilage fragments from his right ankle.

Earlier this year United's boss Alex Ferguson, who attended the official launch, revealed that he is looking forward to making another trip to the host nation of the 2010 World Cup.

Meanwhile, tickets are selling fast and a massive crowd is expected at this tournament.

Fixtures: July 19 - Kaizer Chiefs v Manchester United at Newlands, Cape Town.

July 22 - Orlando Pirates v Manchester United at Kings Park, Durban.

July 24 - Orlando Pirates v Kaizer Chiefs, Port Elizabeth.

July 26 - final at Loftus stadium in Pretoria.