'Win over Mexico is key'

RARING TO GO: Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and stand-in captain Teko Modise during a media briefing yesterday ahead of the friendly game between South Africa and Namibia in Durban today. Pic: THULI DLAMINI. 02/03/2010. © Sowetan.
RARING TO GO: Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and stand-in captain Teko Modise during a media briefing yesterday ahead of the friendly game between South Africa and Namibia in Durban today. Pic: THULI DLAMINI. 02/03/2010. © Sowetan.

BAFANA Bafana's World Cup success rests with their opening Group A match against Mexico at Soccer City on June 11.

BAFANA Bafana's World Cup success rests with their opening Group A match against Mexico at Soccer City on June 11.

That is what 2010 Local Organising Committee chief executive Danny Jordaan said at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban yesterday during the celebration of the 100 days before the kick-off of the global showpiece.

"The match against Mexico holds the key," Jordaan said.

"Bafana have shown improvement under new coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and our passing game is also starting to improve.

"If we can beat Mexico, then Bafana will be in business.

"We are still only ranked 81st by Fifa, but in front of 90000 plus Bafana supporters on June 11 at Soccer City anything will be possible and my money is on Bafana getting it right on the night.

"Mexico will feel the pressure and hopefully Bafana can capitalise."

Jordaan said Bafana reaching the knockout phase of the World Cup would be a bonus, but stressed that whether Bafana failed or succeeded on the pitch would not affect the success of the tournament.

"We will produce a brilliant event but it would be even better if Bafana should be competitive and do well on the pitch," Jordaan said.

He said Bafana also needed to get fit for the World Cup.

"It was unbelievable how unfit our national team was last year, but that will change under Parreira. He knows what it takes to succeed at the World Cup."

Jordaan said his 16-year dream of bringing the World Cup to South Africa was almost complete.

"It was an amazing journey that started in the United States in 1994. The dream will be realised in 100 days.

"We have four world-class stadiums that South Africans can be proud of."

President of the SA Football Association Kirsten Nematandani promised he would leave no stone unturned in assisting Parreira and his players. - Sapa

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