International Friendly: South Africa V Colombia Betting – Thursday, 27th May

26th May 2010 | World Cup Betting category: World Cup Qualification Previews & Predictions
World Cup Qualification Previews & Predictions

South Africa V Colombia

Thursday, 27th May -19:35 GMT
International Friendly

 

Hosts South Africa, who are preparing for their third appearance in a World Cup, will take on fall-guys Colombia from South America in a pre-World Cup friendly on Thursday. Despite qualifying for four World Cup’s, two more than South Africa as one of their three will be as hosts in this years show-piece, Colombia haven’t played in a World Cup since 1998 when they exited at the group stage for the third occasion. They weren’t a million miles off snatching a play-off rewarding position in the South America qualifying sector, just a single point in fact, but it was a case of ‘close, but no cigar’ for Los Cafeteros.

South Africa should consider themselves blessed that FIFA elected them as the 2010 hosts of the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet, as without playing the part of hosts there was little chance Bafana Bafana would have qualified. Amidst claims that South Africa are set to become the worst performing host nation in the history of the finals – With no previous host nation failing too progress past the group stages – ‘The Boys’ as the commonly nicknamed, Bafana Bafana over in South Africa however, are under a tonne of pressure to protect their dignity as a disappointing performance in the group stage, thus becoming the first host nation not to make the knock-outs, would dampen the spirit surrounding the entire tournament and lead to many disgruntled natives.

Under their new Brazilian tactician, Carlos Alberto Parreira, supporters have regained some of the faith lost in the national team after a string of poor friendly results during 2009 and the beginning of 2010. On the 16th May Parreira masterminded back-to-back wins after victories for Bafana Bafana over Jamaica (2-0) and then Thailand (4-0). While neither were against any opponent of note, it did at least raise euphoria around the country, although that quickly came to an end when South Africa’s tendency to draw games returned after a 1-1 draw with Bulgaria in Johannesburg. Their winning run didn’t last long, just two games in fact, as a 1-1 draw with Bulgaria ended their winning streak, although Parreira’s team were very impressive in the opening half, espcially lively and bright in the attacking third of the field, and with the finals now less than three weeks away, South Africa will be desperate to spark up another confidence building run ahead of a tournament where the players will be under an immense amount of pressure to match the high expectations expected from any host nation.

Against Bulgaria in their last outing, South Africa shown enough glimpses of positive play to keep the fans optimistic. Although shots weren’t exactly raining down on the Bulgaria goal, Bafana Bafana did at least carve out some decent openings and some clinical and composed finishing might have seen them snatch a third successive win. Teko Modise, a huge fan favourite, was the stand-in captain as he played his 50th game for South Africa, claiming the vuvuzelas were inspiring and it’s the sound of these plastic horns alone which he feels will spur the team on to perform in their forthcoming friendlies and at the finals itself.

 

Colombia, though, conjured just one win away from their home land during qualifying for South Africa, of which they came up short by one point. In 10 away qualifiers they suffered 4 defeats and 4 draws, with their poor away showings their achilles heels. With their poor away record in mind, you would be fairly optimistic in South Africa’s chances in notching up their third win in four internationals. However, Colombia shouldn’t be underestimated and we’re sure Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira will have done his homework on the South American side. Their team is build mainly upon home foundations, with a large number of those currently in the Colombia squad plying their trade back home. A few players to keep a watchful eye on are FC Porto’s prolific forward Falcao, who scored some big goals for the Portuguese giants both in Europe and domestically, and Wigan Athletic’s Hugo Rodallega up front, although the pair only have 13 international goals between them. In defence, though, Inter Milan’s Ivan Cordoba and Udinese’s Cristian Zapata provide some stability and realiable presence.

 

Match Odds:

South Africa – 2.50 Ladbrokes
Draw – 3.25 WilliamHill
Colombia – 3.20 SportingBet

 

Our Prediction: Draw – 3.25 WilliamHill

Tough one to call this game, as on one hand we have a South Africa team desperate to perform and to keep the hopes of the nation alive ahead of the forthcoming home finals, but on the other we have Colombia, who performed badly in their away qualifiers but possess some talented individuals, especially up front. The South Africa defence has been really unconvincing in just about every game they’ve played despite Parreira trying to instil some tactical nous into his players. If Colombia set their stars free on Thursday’ Falcao and Rodallega in particular, then the away side should enjoy themselves in front of goal. At the odds, Colombia look a very good punt but because of South Africa’ tendency to draw games, we’ll play safe with a bet on this ending in another stalemate.

We will say the hosts looked very good in the opening 45 minutes against Bulgaria, by far and away the better side in the opening exchanges, and really should of took some sort of lead into the break. Changes at half-time altered South Africa’s second half display, which was rather one-paced and less effective but a similarly quick start against Colombia and they could return instantly to winning ways.

Our Recommendation: South Africa/Draw (HT/FT Betting) – 17.00 SportingBet



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