Bafana to warm up against Mozambique
Like making a date with the sister of your girlfriend to learn what she is all about, Bafana Bafana have elected to play Mozambique at Durban's Chatsworth Stadium in Sunday's warm-up for the African Nations Cup in Ghana.
South Africa play Angola in a tough AFCON opening encounter on Wednesday, January 23 and coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has presumably had his eye on this match while choosing the opponents for the game at Chatsworth.
Although Angola have seemingly overtaken their Portuguese-speaking blood brothers and built a more formidable soccer combination than Mozambique during the past three or four years, the approach of the two insofar as tactics and style are concerned are not disimilar to that of a pair of twins.
So, while Parreira will doubtlessly not expect to judge the more formidable Angolans by what emerges from the Mozambique game, it will give him a rare insight as to how his own players cope against the short-passing, latin-styled methods shared by Africa's two Portuguese-infiltrated soccer combinations.
But while Parreira will have much to learn from Sunday's game, there is also a flipside to his spinning of the tactical coin - with a defeat or unimpressive performance against Mozambique sure to dent confidence before the Angola clash.
Bafana Communications and Media Officer Sifiso Cele says Parreira has not made any pronouncements regarding the line-up for Sunday's game from a squad of 23 - "and is unlikely to do so until shortly before the 4pm kick-off".
But, it can be assumed, the team that starts the game at Chatsworth will be close, if not identical to what the coach foresees as the line-up to tackle Angola.
Despite the close proximity to neighbours Mozambique, Bafana have featured in only one previous soccer international against their neighbours - winning convincingly 3-0 some six years ago.
But Mozambique club sides have performed impressively on a number of occasions in South Africa and they will have a special incentive for doing well on this occasion.