Bafana vs La Roja

2013-11-17 14:00

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Preview Spain vs Bafana Venue: FNB , Soweto Kickoff: Tuesday 9.00pm TV: SS2/SSHD, SABC 2: 6.45pm

It’s the world’s number one ranked team since 2008 against the pride of the nation, Bafana Bafana.

It’s the team that scored the last goal of the 2010 Fifa World Cup against the team that scored the opening goal of the same tournament.

Fans in Joburg can look forward to seeing world footballing icons in action on Tuesday when Bafana host Spain at the FNB Stadium.

Kickoff is at 9pm.

This game is probably coach Gordon Igesund’s highest-profile since taking charge of Bafana.

Playing against the world and European champions does not happen every day and Bafana should consider themselves lucky to have this massive opportunity to rub shoulders with La Roja.

Spain return to the venue where they won their first-ever World Cup without Cesc Fàbregas, Gerard Piqué, Xavi and newcomer Diego Costa, who are injured.

Bafana will go into the match with their tails up following their 3-0 routing of Swaziland on Friday.

While Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque will use the game to prepare for next year’s World Cup in Brazil, Igesund is on a rebuilding mission after his team failed to book a place at next year’s showpiece.

In their previous two meetings, Spain came out tops – at the 2002 World Cup and at the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup.

Khune will be the busier of the two stoppers but it will afford Africa’s number one to shine in front of a European audience.

His decision not to go for crosses has made him rely on his reflexes but it is a choice that has worked for him.

The Spanish jury is out on whether Iker Casillas is deserving of the Spanish number one jersey as he is struggling to dislodge an inform Diego Lopez at club level.

Cassilas in a Spanish jersey is a far different proposition than in a club one, which could explain his 11-year hold since Santiago Canizares sliced tendons in his foot.

»Attack: Rantie vs Ramos

It will be a contrast of an excellent attacking team and one that is not so flash in the final third.

Bafana was once described as a team that plays “soft-porn” football – all the touches with no penetration and that has not changed much.

To be fair, Spain hasn’t been in the goals if one looks at how they qualified for Brazil 2014.

With Del Bosque’s insistence on playing without a striker, the drought is starting to dry the earth.

But in picking David Villa and Fernando Llorente, the intent to keep Itumeleng Khune busy is clear.

»Defence: Villa vs Khumalo

If there’s one thing Igesund has got right is the composition of his defence and how they adhere to a similar defensive pattern.

He has been robbed of his first choice defenders but those who have filled in have not done a bad job either.

Former captain Bongani Khumalo has forced his way back into the team and should be partnered by Siyanda Xulu.

» Midfield war: Furman vs Iniesta

This is going to be one of the best duels of the game as Furman comes up against the dynamic Iniesta.

The Barca man plays like a conductor of the orchestra in the middle of the park and the absence of Xavi will give him more room to manoeuvre.

Furman will have to be extra alert to break Iniesta’s moves.

» The keepers: Khune vs Casillas (Captains)

Khune will be the busier of the twostoppers but it will afford Africa’s number one a chance to shine in front of a European audience.

His decision not to go for crosses has forced him to rely on his reflexes but it is a choice that has worked for him.

The Spanish jury is out on whether Iker Casillas is deserving of the Spanish number one jersey as he is struggling to dislodge an in-form Diego Lopez at club level.

But Casillas in a Spanish jersey as opposed to a club one is a far different proposition, which could explain his 11-year hold since Santiago Cañizares sliced tendons in his foot.

Bafana vs Europeans since 2003

2003 vs England 1-2

2005 vs Iceland 1-4; 2009: 0-1

2005 vs Germany 2-4; 2009: 0-2

2007 vs Scotland 0-1

2009 vs Norway 2-1, 0-1; 2013: 0-1

2009 vs Portugal 0-2; 2012: 0-1

2009 vs Poland 1-0

2009 vs Spain 0-2; 2-3

2009 vs Serbia 1-3

2009 vs Republic of Ireland 0-1

2010 vs Bulgaria 1-1

2010 vs Denmark 1-0

2010 vs France 2-1

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