0 - 0
Jun 14, 200910:00 Live
*Time shown in your time zone
Stadium: Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg
This match has ended. Upcoming related matches:
TV Coverage / Live Streaming
|United Kingdom||BBC Red Button|
|United States||ESPN3, ESPNU, Galavision, ESPN2|
|*Don't see your country or favourite channel listed? Let us know and we will include it.|
Despite Bafana Bafana’s home advantage, it’s hard to pick a favourite in this fixture.
South Africa’s MacBeth Sibaya insists that the country shouldn’t take any game – including this one – for granted.
"I have been involved in the World Cup finals in 2002, the African Nations Cup in Mali the same year, and again in Tunisia in 2004 - no game in a major event is easy,” said the Russian-based midfielder.
"Neither Iraq nor New Zealand will be pushovers. They are not champions of their regions for nothing."
"We all know plenty about Spain, but we must be wary as little is known about either Iraq or New Zealand and that makes them dangerous."
South Africa’s 1-0 victory against Poland in their last warm-up match before the Confederations Cup tournament reveals the team’s good standard and is a huge boost to their non-speaking English coach Joel Santana.
According to the squad’s manager, Sipho Nkumane, this victory was powered by the work of Bafana Bafana’s sports psychologist Henning Gericke.
"Gericke is amazing. After he spoke with the players on Friday night, there was a new self belief in them and it showed in the way we played and beat a top ranked side like Poland [39th in the world].”
“The win over Poland has really put the cherry on top and confidence is soaring. Now we are ready to go out and beat Iraq and set up a winning platform for our Confederations Cup campaign."
In addition to this admirable result, the South Africans can also find relief through recent reports explaining that the injury crisis in the camp has lightened itself.
Teko Modise, Tsepo Masilela, and Everton’s Steven Pienaar all overcame the plight of injuries. Now the squad’s manager, Sipho Nkumane, adamantly reassured the public over South Africa’s injury worries.
"I have just seen Steven and there is no problem," said Nkumane. "He twisted his ankle against Poland but fortunately it is not serious and that is tremendous news for the squad."
Then turning his attention on Modise and Masilela who were cautiously left out of the squad for the Poland friendly, Nkumane said:
"Both suffered niggling injuries last week,"
"It was decided with our opening match in the Confederations Cup against Iraq on Sunday there was no point in taking risks. Both Masilela and Modise will be back in full training on Monday. So it is all good news from the camp."
On the contrary, things are not looking too good in the Iraqi camp. The team will definitely be missing midfielder Qusai Munir who couldn’t manage to overcome a knee injury which he sustained last month. Unfortunately for Iraq, injury worries are not their only troubles. The resignation of the squad’s assistant, Coach Radhi Shnishel, after falling out with new manager Bora Milutinovic also adds to Iraq’s torment.
But the Asian champions will try and put all these behind them to kick off their Confederations Cup campaign in style against South Africa.
Can they create an upset against the 2010 World Cup host nation?
Goalkeepers: Brian Baloyi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Rowen Fernandez (Armenia Bielefeld, Germany)
Defenders: Matthew Booth (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Morgan Gould (SuperSport United), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth, England), Bryce Moon (Panithinikos, Greece), Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport United)
Midfielders: Lance Davids (SuperSport United), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Golden Arrows), Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates), Steven Pienaar (Everton, England), Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Benson Mhlongo (Orlando Pirates), Elrio van Heerden (Blackburn Rovers, England), Innocent Mdledle (Orlando Pirates)
Strikers: Bernard Parker (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia), Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thembinkosi Fanteni (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Katlego Mashego (Orlando Pirates)
Goalkeepers: Mohammed Kasid (Al-Zawraa), Nour Sabri (Talaba), Uday Talib (Duhok)
Defenders: Basim Abbas (Talaba), Muayad Khalid (Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya), Isam Yaseen (Duhok), Samir Saeed (Arbil), Farid Majeed (Talaba), Salam Shaker (Al-Khor, Qatar), Ali Hussein Rahema (Al-Wakra, Qatar), Mohammed Ali Karim (Al-Jazeera, UAE);Dara Mohammed Habeeb (Arbil)
Midfielders: Halgurd Mulla Mohammed (Sulaymaniya), Mahdi Karim (Al-Khor, Qatar), Nashat Akram (FC Twente, Holland), Hawar Mulla Mohammed (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus), Abdul-Wahab Abu Al-Hail (Sepahan Isfahan, Iran), Salih Sadir (Al-Ahed, Lebanon)
Forwards: Karrar Jassim (Al-Wakra, Qatar), Emad Mohammed (Sepahan Isfahan, Iran), Alaa Abdul-Zahra (Al-Khor, Qatar), Younis Mahmoud (Al-Gharafa, Qatar), Luai Salah (Al-Wahda, UAE)