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Mexico vs. South Africa: Who’s got the edge in the World Cup opening game?

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Jorge Silva/Reuters

(Read caption) Mexico players kicked the ball around Thursday in Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium.

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On paper, Mexico should beat South Africa with ease.

The soccer-mad US neighbor is a force to be reckoned with in every World Cup, whereas South Africa has rarely been seen in the World Cup and is only able to compete in this one because they are hosting it. Mexico vs. South Africa kicks off at 10 am EST (see schedule).

Few believe South Africa could have emerged among the top five African countries that made the World Cup if they had to compete in the continent’s competitive qualifiers.

COVER STORY: Where South Africa stands 16 years after apartheid.

Mexico outmatches South Africa in terms of players with top-level international experience, and El Tri – as Mexico’s team is called – is expected to control the midfield with Gerardo Torrado, Rafael Marquez, and Efrain Juarez. (Read more about what Mexicans think of their prospects.)

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