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World Cup: South Africa vs. Mexico: the starting lineups

June 11, 2010 |  6:07 am

The starting lineups have arrived as if by magic and if there is a surprise, it's the fact that defender Matthew Booth is not starting for the Bafana Bafana.

Here are the 22 players who will make soccer history:

World-cup-logo South Africa--Itumeleng Khune, Siboniso Gaxa, Aaron Mokoena, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Katlego Mphela, Steven Pienaar, Teko Modise, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Lucas Thwala and Bongani Khumalo.

Mexico--Oscar Perez, Francisco Rodriguez, Carlos Salcido, Rafael Marquez, Ricardo Osorio, Gerardo Torrado, Guillermo Franco, Carlos Vela, Paul Aguilar, Efrain Juarez and Giovani dos Santos.

These are the men respective coaches Carlos Alberto Parreira and Javier Aguirre are counting on to carry them to opening-game glory.

All that is needed now is for Uzbekistan referee Ravshan Irmatov to blow the opening whistle and then it's a matter of waiting to see who will score the first goal of World Cup 2010, the first goal on African World Cup soil, the first goal that will launch the month-long party.

Of course, it might not come until later Friday in Cape Town, when France and Uruguay get their campaigns under way. But the feeling here is that Soccer City will see the first goal. We can't wait.

--Grahame L. Jones, reporting from Johannesburg