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Date: 14 December 2018

  South African - Soccer

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Parreira's new headaches ahead of Mexico game

[Posted 03 Jun 2010]
Parreira"s new headaches ahead of Mexico game

Posted on 03.06.2010

By Brighton Mupangavanhu

Parreira has a very healthy problem ahead of the World Cup opening match against Mexico at the massive newly refurbished Soccer City Stadium on 11 June.

The jostling for positions in the final 23 squad for South Africa has seen the emergence of a very healthy competition in coach Parreira's squad. The 1994 World Cup winning coach with Brazil appears to have a difficult decision on his hands in choosing the first 11 ahead of the opening tie. It is hoped that the last friendly match against Denmark on 5 June will assist the veteran coach to fine-tune his squad in his preferred system.

Many of Parreira's players lifted their hands for a starting position, especially in the match against Guatemala. Parreira must have paused to ask himself questions around who really should occupy the right back position, especially given Anele Ngcongca's performance on Monday against Guatemala. The Belgium based right back was such a revelation in the 5-0 drubbing of the South Americans. He provided the spark which has been lacking from Siboniso Gaxa ever since the Confederations Cup. Tough choice for Parreira in that role.

With Thanduyise Kubhoni's showing in recent matches, Parreira will have to decided whether to go for experience or current form in the holding position. The toss for that role is between Khubhoni and veteran Macbeth Sibaya. The latter is a tried and tested veteran of difficult battles including Champions league games with his Russian club Rubin Khazan, and has played at the World Cup before (in 2002). Khuboni appeared to wilt under South American opposition in the match against Colombia. Mexico has a similar kind of attacking football. Will the inexperienced Khuboni rise to the challenge this time? Or is it time for Parreira to go for experience? Only time will tell.

The striking department is another headache for Parreira. The Brazilian prefers playing with a supporting striker behind main striker. Katlego Mphela looks set to be the first choice striker for Bafana Bafana at the World Cup. The jury is still out on who will partner Mphela in a supporting role. Surprise Moriri who appears to be the perfect choice in the system preferred by Parreira has of late been blowing hot and cold. On the other hand, FC Twente striker Bernard Parker's performance against Guatemala can surely not go unnoticed. That wonder goal in the dying minutes of the Monday game is the best goal seen at any Bafana match in the last six months. Will it be Moriri or Parker on 11 June? Thats the question.

Should Itumeleng Khune fail to recover on time for the match against Denmark, and Moneeb Josephs plays another blinder in that friendly match, Parreira will be left with another difficult choice ahead of the Mexico match.

The current headache which Parreira faces is sweet music to the veteran coach, but he needs to make up his mind so that the first 11 will be given time to gel together as a formiddable unit at the World Cup on home soil.

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