In today's only fixture, African champions Nigeria take on OFC Nations Cup winners Tahiti in Group B, with the latter making their first appearance at a FIFA Confederations Cup.
The two sides have never met before, but with Nigeria having competed at four FIFA World Cups™, in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010, the scales are tipped firmly in the Super Eagles’ favour.
Tahiti-Nigeria, Group B, Monday 17 June, Belo Horizonte, 16:00 (local time)
Marama Vahirua (TAH) - Vincent Enyeama (NGA)
The pair could have met in Ligue 1 on 6 August 2011, on the first day of the French season. Vahirua was playing for Nancy at the time, while Enyeama was a new arrival at Lille. The encounter never happened, however, as both players ended up being unused substitutes. Today's game, then, gives them another chance to square off. Vahirua, the 2005 Oceania Footballer of the Year, will be out to test his goalscoring powers against Nigeria's No1, who impressed at South Africa 2010 with two man-of-the-match displays in the Super Eagles' three fixtures.
The expert's view
Abdel Moneim Hussein, FIFA Technical Study Group: "Tahiti mustn't be taken lightly, even though it's their first time at the Confederations Cup. They picked up five victories on their way to winning the OFC Nations Cup, and several of their players competed at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009. I expect them to give a good account of themselves, although Nigeria remain my favourites to win. Around 90 per cent of their team plays abroad, and they have big-game experience with the likes of [John] Obi Mikel and [Vincent] Enyeama. Still, anything is possible in football, and the team that prepares better will win it."
Nigeria, along with Denmark, are the only team to have never lost a FIFA Confederations Cup match in normal time. The last time they appeared in the tournament, in 1995, the Super Eagles recorded a win and two draws, before losing to Mexico on penalties in the match for third place.
South Africa 2-0 New Zealand, 17 June 2009, Rustenburg (South Africa)
On this day in 2009, South Africa met New Zealand in Group A of the FIFA Confederations Cup they were hosting. South Africa opened their campaign with a goalless draw against Iraq, before beating the Kiwis 2-0 in their second outing thanks to a brace from Bernard Parker. The result, which remains Bafana Bafana's only victory in the competition to date, was enough to take them through to the knockout phase, despite their 2-0 defeat by Spain in their final group game. The South Africans then lost 1-0 to Brazil in the semi-finals, which set up a rematch with La Roja in the third-place game. The sides could not be separated and were tied at 2-2 after 90 minutes, but it was Spain who eventually found the winner in extra time.
Markus Lopez (41, Mexico), who played in the FIFA Confederations Cup Saudi Arabia 1997.