Chance to turn the tables

GO for it Bafana Bafana!

GO for it Bafana Bafana!

Today is the day when all South Africans will be watching Bafana as they try to avoid the ignominy of becoming the first host country to bomb out in the World Cup's first round.

Carlos Alberto Parreira and his men will take on France in a make-or-break Group A final match at Free State Stadium this afternoon. While Bafana go into this crunch tie knowing that their hopes of going into the next phase hang by a thread, they should remain firmly focused on the job at hand.

Bafana Bafana's critics have already written their obituary, buy they have what it takes to make their opponents eat humble pie today. Parreira needs to inspire his men and make them believe in themselves.

There is a saying: "A bend in the road is not the end of the road. unless you fail to make the turn". Cynics might believe Bafana Bafana have reached the point of no return, but they can still avoid the bend.

Parreira is experienced enough to instil a sense of self-belief in his players, who should not underestimate Les Bleus because of their on-pitch woes and off-pitch shenanigans. The 1994 World Cup-winning coach has enough in his arsenal on the bench to help the team to survive and make up for his earlier blunders. It is encouraging that he has decided to ring the changes for today's confrontation.

It will be refreshing to see Siyabonga "Bhele" Nomvethe, MacBeth Sibaya, Thanduyise Khuboni and Anele Ngcongca playing.

Bernard Parker should also start and partner Nomvethe upfront.

Katlego Mphela was played as a lone ranger against Mexico and Uruguay and was forced to drift deep to collect as there was no supply. Teko Modise should not play at all. The Pirates linkman was woeful against Mexico and Uruguay.

Steven Pienaar admits he is exhausted and should not start.

Bafana should take a leaf out of Portugal's praiseworthy 7-0 triumph over a befuddled North Korean squad and beat Raymond Domenech's side with an avalanche of goals.

Kickoff is at 4pm.