Bartlett sizes up Mexico

A "MEXICAN wave" of talent, providing the sternest test faced by Bafana Bafana in a long time, could engulf Soccer City when the eagerly awaited opening game of the World Cup takes place at Soccer City on Friday.

A "MEXICAN wave" of talent, providing the sternest test faced by Bafana Bafana in a long time, could engulf Soccer City when the eagerly awaited opening game of the World Cup takes place at Soccer City on Friday.

"Yes, I think the Mexicans are a more accomplished combination than anything Bafana have faced in their four-month build-up to the World Cup," said former Bafana marksman Shaun Bartlett, when the vibrant A Taste of Mexico programme was launched yesterday.

Bartlett said he had been greatly impressed by the Mexicans during their recent warm-up programme in Europe when they lost narrowly to England and the Netherlands and convincingly beat World Cup champions Italy.

"They are particularly impressive with their lightning-fast attacking forays and will provide a tougher challenge for the Bafana defence.

"I think it will require a moment of inspiration akin to the kind that helped South Africa win the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and the African Cup of Nations in 1996 as underdogs to beat the Mexicans, or hold them to a draw. But it's not impossible. It's happened before and the presence of Madiba, the throbbing atmosphere of the 90000 crowd and the vuvuzelas could help them do the the trick."

A Taste of Mexico chief executive and president Javier Ruiz Galinda said that 15000 supporters are due to arrive for Friday.

A Mexican mariachi band will take on the vuvuzelas in the sound stakes.- Sapa

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