2010 World Cup Opening Match Preview Mexico Vs South Africa

Jefferson PowellContributor IJune 11, 2010

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 06:  The match ball for the opening world cup fixture between South Africa and Mexico is seen during adidas/FIFA Referees Media Day  on June 6, 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images for adidas)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

With the 2010 World Cup set to kick off at 16:00 South African Time 10:00 am EST Friday morning with Mexico taking on the host nation of South Africa in Johannesburg at Soccer City Stadium. We'll take a look at both squads in our preview of the first match of the 2010 World Cup.

Mexico certainly comes into the match as the favorite in my eyes but you can never under estimate the home nation who will surely have the crowd behind them.  These two teams have only met 3 times with Mexico holding a slight edge winning 2 of the 3 matches but the last win going to South Africa back in 2005. 

What Mexico Must do to win is simply do what they do. Mexico generally plays a solid game every time they take the field.  They have a tough defense led by Captain Rafael Marquez and a young rising star goalkeeper in Guillermo Ochoa. Look for Mexico's Defense to be the key to this game if they can hold strong I think they can take the match. They will need to score as well look for midfielder Andres Guardado to play a big part in breaking down the South African defense.  Mexican forward Javier Hernandez is my X-factor of this game. He has had a solid run in their recent matches and could surprise with a few goals throughout the World Cup he's a young guy to definitely keep an eye on.

Now let's turn our attention to the host nation South Africa who is led by midfielder Steven Pienaar, if South Africa hopes to come away with a win in the match Pienaar will definitely have to be a factor. He surely doesn't lack confidence Pienaar as he was recently quoted "They (Mexico) are very strong and have good players, and also the kind of football they play is South American - more like the Mexican way."So come 11 June we will be prepared, and we will play our kind of football so we no  so worried about Mexico at the moment." I think South Africa will have to keep the score low if they stand a chance and they'll probably have to hit a big time goal at some point and play solid defense throughout the entire match if they want to walk away victorious.  They have the confidence and the crowd behind them but will they do it?

                                        My Pick to win -Mexico-


-Jefferson D. Powell