Bafana Beach Boys meet Senegal


While Senegal can look to a squad that now has some solid experience, the South African side has an average age of less than 21 and their most experienced players have yet to play a match outside of two qualifying campaigns and one other tournament, all in Durban.

Young captain, 21-year-old Lowell Kinsey, and his even younger vice captain, 19-year-old goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha, will have to find leadership skills way beyond their ages if they hope to lift their team to beat the big, strong and physical Senegalese.

The other match involving South Africa's group on Tuesday sees the silky skills of Egypt against the underdogs, Mozambique.

South Africa will watch that match with interest as they face Mozambique tomorrow and will in all likelihood be taking on the Egyptians for a place in the semi-finals on Thursday.

The two Pool B matches on the opening day have Nigeria meeting up with Ivory Coast in what could be the match of the tournament, and 2006 qualifiers Cameroon against Cape Verde islands in what should be a one-sided thrashing.

Ivory Coast have twice lost in the semi-finals of the qualifying tournament and many feel they could have gone through both times with a little luck.

An early victory over Nigeria will set them up for a third crack at a place in the final, while Cameroon cannot afford a slip up against what is expected to be the weakest team of the group.

The top two teams from each pool qualify for the semifinals, with the two semifinal winners qualifying for the World Cup finals in Marseilles in July.

Fixtures:March 25 (first match at 11am with other matches to follow thereafter)Cameroon v Cape Verde IslandEgypt v MozambiqueNigeria v Cote d’IvoireSouth Africa v Senegal