Pre-game: South Africa vs. Uruguay

South Africa and Uruguay clash in a crucial encounter Wednesday that both teams need to win in order to keep their World Cup hopes alive (CBC,, 2pm ET).

Day 6, Match 3

South Africa vs. Uruguay, Group A

Date and Location

June 16, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria

Broadcast details

Live on CBC and (2 p.m. ET). Consult CBC's full broadcast schedule.

What's at stake

South Africa and Mexico played to a 1-1 draw in their opening game, while Uruguay and France battled to a goal-less stalemate. As a result, all four teams are tied for first place in Group A with one point apiece, so the race for the top two spots (and the berths in the next round that go with them) are up for grabs.

Rogers Pre-game Show

Watch the Rogers Pre-game show 30 minutes before kick-off as our panel of soccer experts provide up-to-the-minute news from South Africa on this match.

To watch the show, CLICK HERE

Conventional wisdom suggests that a team needs five points to clinch a second-round spot. If that's true, this is a make-or-break game that neither South Africa nor Uruguay can afford to lose.

A victory would propel one nation into first place in Group A with one game to go and put them on course to the round of 16. The loser would still be alive mathematically, but realistically their World Cup dreams would be over, needing a win in their final match and some help in order to advance.

A tie would be disastrous for South Africa, as it would need a victory in its final match of the first round is against France, considered the Group A favourite, to move on.

Suspension watch

Kagisho Dikgacoi and Tsepo Masilela earned yellow cards in South Africa's previous match. If either one of them receive a yellow card against Uruguay, they will be suspended for South Africa's final game of the group stage.

Diego Lugano and Mauricio Victorino are in a similar predicament for Uruguay.  Also, Nicolas Lodeiro is suspended for Uruguay against South Africa.

Player to watch for South Africa

Siphiwe Tshabalala — The Bafana Bafana midfielder won the hearts of his nation when he scored the opening goal of the tournament, beating Mexican goalkeeper Oscar Perez with a sublime finish from inside the penalty area. With his confidence at an all-time high, it will be interesting to see what he can do for an encore.

Player to watch for Uruguay

Diego Forlan — The Uruguayan forward was kept off the score sheet against France, but not due to a lack of effort. He had several scoring chances but couldn't put any of them away. That's unlike the usually clinical Forlan, who will be looking to make amends against the host nation.

Key match-up

Aaron Mokoena vs. Diego Forlan — This should be an intriguing one-on-one battle pitting the 23-year-old defender, considered the brightest prospect in South African soccer, versus the veteran striker, rated one of the most dangerous goal-scorers in the game today.

The South Africa perspective

"A win against Uruguay will virtually seal our passage into the second round and make the nation even prouder. Uruguay will be in trouble if we carry on where we left off against the Mexicans." — midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala

The Uruguayan perspective

"We did come to win against France. We got a point, which isn't the end of the world because everyone now has one point after one game. We still have the chance to go forward and progress. … We defended well but the attacking was less effective. We'll have to attack more in the next game." — forward Diego Forlan

World Cup head-to-head

South Africa and Uruguay have never met in the World Cup.

All time head-to-head

  • Games played: 2.
  • Uruguay:  1 win, 0 losses, 1 draw.
  • South Africa: 0 wins, 1 loss, 1 draw.
  • Goals: Uruguay 4, South Africa 3.
  • Last match: South Africa hosted Uruguay in Johannesburg in 2007 and played to a 0-0 draw.