South Africa blew the tournament wide open in the round of sixteen. They knocked out hosts Egypt in a shock 1-0 victory. There are not many people who would have seen that coming. Can they take their journey further? Nigeria had to fight back from behind to knock out holders Cameroon in their round of sixteen tie. Read our Nigeria v South Africa betting tips for more.
South Africa 10/3
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 8th, 2019 at 8:47 p.m.)
The Super Eagles had a real ding-dong battle with Cameroon in the round of sixteen. Nigeria took the lead early in the game, but then into the second half were chasing the game at 2-1 down. But they produced the firepower to get themselves back in front to hold out for a 3-2 success. So that was a big scalp claimed by Nigeria in having knocked out the reigning champions. Back in the group stage Nigeria had only managed to finish second to the surprise package that is Madagascar. Nigeria had lost against them 2-0 in a top-spot showdown.
Nigeria are W5 D1 L2 in their eight games played this year. They have picked up a total of four clean sheets in that sequence of games. The two defeats which they have suffered in that run have been in their last five played though, a friendly against Senegal and then the group stage loss against Madagascar. Just two of their 2019 fixtures have now made it over 2.5 goals so it was surprising that their game against Cameroon went so high. The concern for the Super Eagles though is that is back to back games in which they have conceded two goals. Odion Ighalo is their top scorer in this tournament with three goals.
These two were in the same qualification group for AFCON 2019
South Africa were W1 D1 against Nigeria in those qualifiers
Four of the last five meetings have been drawn
Nigeria are W6 D4 L2 in the overall had to head with South Africa
South Africa set the cat amongst the pigeons in their round of sixteen tie against Egypt. They came up with a 1-0 win over the Egyptians, their goal coming from Thembinkosi Lorch five minutes from time. That was a major upset after the South Africans had only finished third in their group. They had finished behind Morocco and the Ivory Coast, with their three points, which were enough to get them to the knockouts coming in a win over Namibia.
South Africa have posted figures of W3 D1 L2 in their six fixtures during the 2019 calendar year. All three of their wins in that sequence were by one goal margin. The two defeats were 1-0 reverses. Just two of South Africa’s last eleven games have made it over 2.5 goals now. Both teams have scored in just three of South Africa’s last eleven fixtures. What do the Bafana Bafana have up their sleeve? Can they come up with something special to take down Super Eagles? Clearly, they aren’t going to care about their underdog status.
That was some show of resilience from South Africa in their win over Egypt. Will that have taken something out of them? The Super Eagles should have the edge in the fixture and will have some wind in their sails after coming up big against Cameroon. Nigeria to win.
8th July 2019 / lee - Category: International Football Betting
Host nation Egypt claimed a win in all three of their group stage games and so are sailing along. For having won their group they get a favourable draw for the round of sixteen in taking on South Africa. The South Africans were one of the best third-placed finishers from the group stage. Read our Egypt v South Africa betting tips for more.
South Africa 5/1
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 3rd, 2019 at 4:59 p.m.)
Egypt opened their campaign with a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe before following that up with back to back 2-0 wins over DR Congo and Uganda. So it’s been pretty straight forward for them in a group that they were always expected to win. They are the host nation and there is high expectancy on them. Egypt are currently on a five-match winning streak at the moment and in that sequence of form have conceded just one goal only. Just one of their last seven games have gone over the 2.5 goal line.
Egypt have won eight of their last ten games (D1 L1) so are in great shape at the moment. Star player Mo Salah has two goals in the tournament so far. Both he had Ahmed El Mohamady have shared Egypt’s last four goals in the competition. They will be looking to go one better than their runners up spot to Cameroon two years ago. They have won the Africa Cup of Nations seven times before in their history.
South Africa beat Egypt 1-0 in a 2016 international friendly
Egypt are W4 D0 L3 in seven against South Africa
The two have alternated wins in the last six meetings
Each of the last five meetings have been settled by a one-goal winning margin
South Africa have made the final sixteen but not without some struggles. They suffered 1-0 defeats against the Ivory Coast and Morocco in the group stage. Sandwiched in between those two reverses was their one and only success, a 1-0 victory over Namibia. So that is all that they had to show for their group stage efforts, but it was enough to see them get through as one of the best third-placed teams.
South Africa have won just three games since the start of September last year. That is a W3 D5 L2 record in that sequence now. They do look short of goalscoring quality as they have failed to hit the back of the net in three of their last four games played now. Just one of their last eight games have made it over 2.5 goals. They are the clear underdogs against the tournament hosts in this one and they are going to have to come up with something spectacular. They have been to the quarterfinals in just one of their last five AFCON campaigns.
Egypt should have a clear advantage in this one. They are the ones with the star power and the South Africans are not looking to be any kind of threat. It should be fairly routine for Egypt and can take the win to nil.
6th July 2019 / lee - Category: International Football Betting
South Africa have to put all of their chips on the table in this one. They have to pull out a win against the current Group D leaders Morocco to get in the picture for qualification. Morocco need just a point from the fixture to win the group. There’s a scenario where Morocco, Ivory Coast and South Africa all end up on six points though. Read our South Africa v Morocco betting tips for more.
South Africa 14/5
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on June 29th, 2019 at 5:25 a.m.)
South Africa had a setback at the start of their campaign as they lost 1-0 against the Ivory Coast. They then balanced the books with a 1-0 win over Namibia. That leaves then trailing leaders Morocco by three points and sitting level on points with second-placed Ivory Coast. So they don’t have things all under their own control. That’s because they are going to need some kind of help from Namibia. South Africa have to better Ivory Coast’s result against Namibia to progress in an automatic qualification spot.
But if they were to pick up three points regardless, South Africa would likely in the worst case scenario, be one of the best third-place finishers. There has not been a lot of winning form from the South Africa in their recent form. They have taken just two in their last eight games played (D5 L1). But the positive from that streak of form is that they have been hard to beat. South Africa have given up just the one goal in their last three games. In their last eight games though, just once have South Africa managed to score more than one goal in a game.
Each of the last four meetings have been drawn
The most recent was 1-1 draw back in 2013
SA are W2 D4 L0 against Morocco
Both of South Africa’s wins over Morocco have been in AFCON editions
Morocco then are in the driving seat in this group having taken six points from six in their opening two games. They have both been 1-0 successes over Namibia and the Ivory Coast. Against Namibia, Morocco only succeeded through an 89th-minute own goal by their opponents. Will they be able to complete the job and close out the group win. Much like everyone else in this group, they are not a side who have been in tremendous form with two wins in their last six.
Morocco are W2 D1 L3 in their last six games. Earlier this year they went on three-match streak without scoring a goal. In their qualification campaign, they took a W3 D2 L1 record, finishing above Cameroon on goal difference only. So they had a tight squeeze there and could well get another in this one. To their credit, they took four clean sheets in their six qualifiers. Things are a little precarious in this group, so they can be forgiven for going out and having a keen focus on keeping things tight.
It may be worth having a look at South Africa in this one. They are the ones who are going to need to push on that little bit harder in this fixture. Morocco are likely to be happy trying to play for their point to get top spot, but may well be challenged here. South Africa to win.
1st July 2019 / lee - Category: International Football Betting
Kick-off: Tuesday, 22nd June – 15:00 GMT
Stadium: Free State Stadium, Mangaung/Bloemfontein
The destiny of France’s World Cup is outside of their hands, but they can do all they can do to put themselves in with a chance of squeezing through to the second round, by beating host nation South Africa. After a lacklustre draw against Uruguay in their opening match, any failings up front could have been put down to first match nerves. But there was no place to hide after the French surrendered to the Mexicans in the second half of their second group match, falling 2-0 to the central Americans. The French did not look a confident side coming into the tournament, and were struggling for goals and cohesion in the international friendly matches they played as warm ups. Departing coach Raymond Domenech could just not put his finger on a formation which would get the best out of his talented forwards, and the French are still struggling to find goals. The French have not hit the back of the net at South Africa 2010 so far, and their problems have been made worse by discord in the squad.
Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka has been sent home following an alleged outburst in defending himself during half time of the Mexico match, when Domenech singled him out for getting out of position. After failing to publicly apologise, Anelka was told to leave, and all that followed an alleged bust up in training camp between Florent Malouda and Domenech. Which Domenech leaving his post at the end of the World Cup, it looks as if he has lost control of the group, and they are falling apart at the seams. They have one last chance at salvation by beating the home nation, but they will need to hope that the Mexico v Uruguay match which is played simultaneously, does not end in a draw. If it does, then the French are heading home, hot on the heels of Anelka, regardless of what they do.
Domenech is widely blamed for the lack of cohesion and progress in the French national side. He surprisingly dropped Yoann Gourcuff for the match against Mexico, the one creative outlet he has in the centre of midfield. That was a bit of a confusing bombshell, especially with the French desperate to find some spark of inspiration. He will probably get a start against South Africa though, as Lyon midfielder Jeremy Toulalan misses the vital match through suspension after picking up his second yellow card of the group stages. There is hardly any positive news on which to focus when you look at France. They have the talent in Gourcuff, Ribery, Malouda and Diarra to be a very good side. The coach does not seem to fit into the same picture though. Against Mexico, they lacked concentration, and failed as a team to enact any kind of response to the dire situation they were in.
On paper you would expect the French to beat South Africa, if not with ease, than by good, solid team work. But looking at the French camp you have to wonder how they would pull together and win any match in their current state. Perhaps the players no longer want to play for Domenech, and that they are awaiting a fresh start when Laurent Blanc takes charge ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifiers. If the players have lost respect for the coach, then it is wrong of them to give up, as they should united under the flag of their nation. But is there one final twist in the controversial coaching career of Raymond Domenech. Can they pull out the stops, get the win and then be handed a favour by one of the other two teams in the group who go head to head in the simultaneous fixture?
The tournament started so very promisingly for the host nation South Africa. Being the first country in Africa to have the honour of hosting the World Cup, after they had earned themselves a 1-1 draw against Mexico, everything seemed to be rosy. They had gone unbeaten through 2010 after the return of Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira. After looking like rank outsiders, suddenly they seemed to be growing in stature, a and putting together a run of form which suggested that maybe they could get out of a tough looking group for them. Now they stand on the brink of going down in history as the first host nation never to make it to the second round of the World Cup, after being put to the sword by Uruguay. South Africa had no answer to what the power South Americans could throw at them, rolling over quite feebly to a 3-0 defeat, as South Africa and Mexico grabbed all of the initiative in the group.
South Africa now stand in exactly the same position as France. There is a faint chance that they could still get through to the second round, if the Mexico v Uruguay game ends in victory for one of them, and the Bafana Bafana themselves can beat France. Perhaps now the lack of depth in South African football is beginning to show, and maybe the result against Mexico on the opening night was purely down to adrenalin thanks to the occasion. Now the heavy defeat by Uruguay has left the nation deflated, as South Africa, along with most of the other African nations, are all struggling in the tournament. Their backs are now up against the wall as the host nation, and all the criticism which has been directed at them from their own media, is hard to refute. The best way to redeem themselves would be to bow out to a fanfare from the Vuvuzela’s in beating France.
Match Verdict – Draw 3.6 at Ladbrokes
While France themselves are in disarray, it appears a tougher task for South Africa to go out on a high, than it does for France. France still have the quality players, and there is a better outside chance of France getting through, because South Africa has a worse goal difference after the drubbing they received. In all reality, this is going to be a match which counts for nothing but pride in the end. If it comes down to who is more hungry for than, then South Africa would win hands down. The French look dejected and devoid of ideas and this could peter out in an another unsatisfactory result for both. A draw.
France – 2.1 at Bet365
Draw – 3.6 at Ladbrokes
South Africa – 4.0 at Totesport
Football-Bookmakers.com Value Bet – South +0.50 Asian Handicap 1.77 at Bet365
South Africa V France Odds:
20th June 2010 / lee - Category: International Football Betting
South Africa V Uruguay
Kick-off: Wednesday, 16th June – 19:30 GMT
Stadium: Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
Referee: Massimo Busacca
The hosts kept their hopes of making the second round alive with a 1-1 draw against Mexico on day 1 of the tournament. It could have been better had Bafana Bafana defend with more common sense and awareness, but the point does prove significant as victory over Uruguay, who also drew their opening Group A encounter with France, would put them within touching distance of the Round of 16, the minimum the host country expects to achieve at the finals.
South Africa’s solitary goalscorer against Mexico, Siphiwe Tshabalala, claims qualification will almost be assured should they secure the win they need against Uruguay on Wednesday. “Uruguay will be in trouble if we carry on where we left off against Mexico” claimed Bafana Bafana’s leading scorer in the tournament. Those were bold words from a country potentially two games away from becoming the first host nation not to qualify for the last-sixteen, but by the sake token it displays the fearless attitude of the South Africa team and that the pressure applied upon them from their home fans is something they will only thrive on and won’t be an excuse for them to play the shy boy in the corner.
There were plenty of positives and negatives to take from their opening clash with Mexico, the main one being the spirit of the players and how they took to the electric atmosphere in the Soccer City stadium, above all else how they used the support they received to grow in confidence against an opponent which had them pinned in their own half for the most part. Their attacks smooth however, and when Mexico put men behind the ball, South Africa found it difficult to break them down and carve out a chance. They have pace though, enough of it to be a real threat on the counter and with South Africa looking far more organised under Carlos Alberto Parreira than they did under Santana, despite the sloppy goal they conceded, chances are they can put their quick counter-attacking style to good use.
With France to come a little later in the week, it goes without saying that this encounter with Uruguay is a must win, as it’s difficult to envisage South Africa’s forwards and creative players carving out enough opportunities to worry the France defence. Bafana Bafana were delighted with their point against Mexico, one some would argue they may not of deserved because of the amount of possession Mexico enjoyed,and should be both confident and buoyed by the opportunity that has arisen for them to book their place in the knock-outs, and while victory over their South American opponents won’t assure them of a spot in the Round of 16, it will be a big step in the right direction.
Uruguay are the two-time winners of the World Cup and yet haven’t qualified for the Round of 16 since Italia ’90. Their point against France on the opening day of the tournament pushed them closer towards their primary objective while a win over the hosts, South Africa, would leave them well in control of their own destiny.
Despite walking into their match with France as the underdog, the team which had qualified for just one of the last four finals (Uruguay) against the 2006 runners-up (France). Nevertheless, it was the South American who achieved their minimum target by claiming a share of the spoils and had Diego Forlan found the net with an opportunity that was easier to score than miss, Uruguay fans would have already been planning their Round of 16 plans in the knowledge that a pleasing result against the host in their second match would almost certainly be enough. That unfortunately wasn’t the case and it means Uruguay deem this game just as much as a ’must win’ as the South African’s.
The South American’s were dangerous when they did make strides into the French half which, in fairness, wasn’t a great deal of the time. Luis Suarez didn’t live up to his bill as being one of Europe’s most prolific strikers after scoring 49 goals in 48 games for Ajax last season, but Diego Forlan, who scored twice as Atletico Madrid clinched the Europa League title a little over two weeks before the finals kicked off in Johannesburg, remain a threat throughout and was one of a few Uruguay players to threaten the France goal. Forlan was willing to have a pop at goal whenever and wherever and is a player who clearly has a hunger and thirst for goals. Coach Oscar Tabarez will need his midfielders to continuously supply the talented forward in order to keep the two-time European Golden Boot winner well nourished.
Uruguay’s final Group A game is against Mexico, a difficult game nonetheless but one they will be optimistic about winning should they not secure three points against South Africa. Ideally, Uruguay will want to avoid needing any last day heroics by beating South Africa in Pretoria, but with the majority in the stadium urging home Bafana Bafana, Uruguay will need to quieten the crowd as soon as possible in order to halt South Africa growing in confidence much like they did against Mexico when they took the lead against the run of play.
Match Verdict: Uruguay to WIN – 2.40 Bet365
There’s little to suggest Uruguay are class above South Africa, but after watching the performances of both sides in their respective opening games, Uruguay looked the more likely to find the back of the net. The South Americans were surprisingly well organised in defence against France but remained threatening up top through Diego Forlan. The South Africa forwards, or forward (Mphela) won’t cause them as many problems as France did and so Uruguay should enjoy far more possession in the contest and if they can keep Suarez and Forlan occupied with a regular supply of service, the Uruguayans should come of out this contest victorious.
Bafana Bafana will be relying heavily on the energetic support from their fans in the stadium to see them through this contest, although that’s not to say they don’t have a chance of winning this game against a team which won’t be as crisp with their passing as Mexico was. Big ask though in our opinion, they’ll need to take the few chances they do create when they come because Uruguay will take theirs at the opposite end of the field.
Football-Bookmakers.com Value Bet: Luis Suarez FGS – 8.00 bWin
15th June 2010 / Matt - Category: International Football Betting
South Africa V Mexico
Kick-off: Friday, 11th June – 16:00 GMT
Stadium: Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)
The 2010 FIFA World Cup is almost upon us, and as soon as the host nation complete what is expected to be an entertaining opening ceremony the finals will official commence. Once they do, the South Africa players will instantly feel the burden of being the host nation, the country everyone expects to set the bar in order to rouse the locals. And although Bafana Bafana aren’t fancied to win the tournament outright, they do at least have to maintain a World Cup trend which, up till now, has never been broken – No host nation has ever failed to qualify for the knock-out stage of the competition. Will South Africa, arguably one of the weakest hosts any World Cup has ever seen, be the first to buck the trend?
South Africa do at least have a fighting chance of putting in a respectable display at the finals, although anything less than progression from Group A will be deemed a failure, by not only their own supporters in South Africa but also by the millions of spectators watching on. It’s almost imperative that the host do well in order to maintain the buzz around the country, as were South Africa to exit the tournament with a whimper, the excitement in and around the stadiums would be dampened somewhat despite the best efforts of the fans of those still standing. With this mind, as well as the fact no host has never failed to reach the second stage of the tournament, South Africa will have more supporters than any other team as the rest of the world encourages Bafana Bafana to surprise us all.
Since the departure of Joe Santana in 2009, shortly after guiding South Africa to a respectable fourth-place finish in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, Carlos Alberto Parreira has restored a great deal of pride back into a nation which is eager to do the greatest football competition in the world the justice it deserves by remaining competitive throughout. While some of their display throughout their World Cup preparation period were scrappy, we mustn’t forget that South Africa will arrive in Johannesburg on the back of an impressive 12 match unbeaten run which stretches back to November of last year. Granted a great deal of them have been against mediocre teams, often minnows in actual fact, but it’s outstanding runs such as theirs which inspires players, lifts the entire morale of a camp. The Bafana Bafana boys will now feel they have every chance of pulling up trees starting with victory over Mexico in their opening games of the finals.
The Brazilian Parreira, who has a World Cup winners medal on his managerial CV when guiding his own country to the 1994 trophy, has enjoyed large degrees of success using a 4-2-3-1 formation. The five-man midfield reduces to rate of shots goalkeeper itemeleng Khune will face, often making games as ugly as possible by slowing down the oppositions forward momentum, thus keeping the scoring to a minimum and increasing their own chances of clinching a goal on the break. Two of their more notable pre-World Cup friendly wins came over Colombia and Denmark. In both encounters, South Africa secured victory by a single goal, with lone striker Katelego Mphela the match winner on both occasions. Will Mphela prove the difference for South Africa once again?
It is never easy playing the host nation in the first game of the finals simply because of the rousing support the hosts will receive, but in Mexico we have a team which could dash the hopes of a nation so eager to impress right from the off. Under the guidance and leadership of ’El Vasco’ formerly known as Javier Aguirre, the Mexico coach, El Tri have been transformed into a team which play beautiful football at times and will certainly be one of the more pleasing teams on the eye during the course of the month. However, pretty football will only get you so far, as Mexico are well aware, and it’s time for the Mexican’s to deliver the whole package if they’re to set the Africa continent alight.
We think it’s fair to say that Mexico are one of the more consistent country’s when it comes to Group games. In the previous four finals, Mexico have exited at the last-sixteen stage. It’s a trend which is becoming more than a tad frustrating back home with the natives, but at the same time it demonstrates Mexico’s ability to ride the wave of euphoria and excitement surrounding the group games, to brush aside the smaller fish and collect the points needed against the more superior nations to qualify for the next round. For a nation which has never really been considered a major contenders for the title itself, Mexico are a model for consistency and their record in recent World Cup’s would suggest El Tri will be a big player in a competitive Group A.
If Mexico are to maintain their trend of qualifying for the knock-outs they’ll need a positive start and it bodes extremely well when you hear that Mexico have won their opening Group encounter in their previous three World Cup’s. However, against the host nation, in a stadium where the vast majority of the support will be for South Africa, Mexico will have to battle against a ’12th man’ if you like in order to get their qualification ball rolling. They’ve demonstrated in previous tournaments that they have the talent and know-how to bypass any group, while their recent scalp of current world champions Italy proves Mexico can beat any team on their day even if it was merely a friendly international.
El Tri’s inspiration is likely to come from some of their young stars, with the likes of Carlos Vela, Giovanni Dos Santos and Javier Hernandez all looking to make an impact in South Africa. While he may not be as agile when at his peak, veteran Cuauhtemoc Blanco could play an instrumental role from the bench, as when Mexico do have their backs against the wall or need a pivotal goal, Blanco has the vision and class to make something happen. The key area for me will rest in the full-back areas, with PSV’s Carlos Salcido in particular a wing-back who loves to get forward. It will, however, leave them exposed when South Africa counter. Experienced defender Rafael Marquez, currently of Barcelona, is facing a race against time to be fit for this opener, although West Ham’s Guillermo Franco has recently resumed training and should be available.
Match Verdict: Mexico to WIN – 2.62 VCbet
Mexico have this knack for progressing from whichever group they are handed, as well as winning their opening game in their previous three World Cup finals. It will be difficult drowning out the party atmosphere from the South Africa faithful, but the Mexicans have several talented individuals in midfield which can unlock a South Africa defence which isn’t exactly watertight. South Africa will rely heavily on the enthusiastic support of their fans in the stadium but that may not bridge the quite apparent gulf in class. Mexico to edge this one for us in a narrow victory.
Football-Bookmakers.com Value Tip: Cuauhtemoc Blanco LGS – 11.00 Bet365
8th June 2010 / Matt - Category: International Football Betting