Many South Africans see a Bafana Bafana victory against Brazil as an impossible dream.
Bafana take on Brazil on Thursday night at Ellis Park in the second semifinal of the Confederations Cup. The first semifinal, played in Bloemfontein on Wednesday night, saw the United States ending Spain’s 35-match unbeaten record to reach the finals of the tournament. The US won the match 2-0.
No one really gave the US a chance against Spain, as is the case with Bafana against Brazil. On paper, Brazil have the upper hand: they last lost a match in June 2008 in a World Cup qualifier against Paraguay, while the only South African team to beat Brazil was the under-23 national side during the 2000 Sydney Olympics, when they won 3-1.
But all that can change on Thursday night if Bafana play attacking football. We can only hope that Santana fields a strong squad that will attack, and play their passing game. Santana should learn from previous games that there are players on the bench who can do the job. He shouldn’t be afraid of making changes when his tactics are not working.
In their last match, against Spain, Bafana played well; it was just unfortunate that they didn’t find the back of the net.
Bafana should not give Brazil the impression that they are scared of them. If Bafana lose against the Brazilians, it shouldn’t be seen as an embarrassment. They have already made the country proud by reaching the semifinals, something that is good for the hosts.
Reaching the finals of the tournament will be a plus for us.