South Africa expected to qualify from group

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa expect returning coach Carlos Alberto Parreira to guide the 2010 World Cup hosts through to at least the tournament's knockout stages, the country's FA chief said on Friday.

"We felt we have a duty as an organisation to project or indicate to the coach what we really expect," South African Football Association (SAFA) president Kirsten Nematandani told reporters.

"We have actually highlighted our aspiration that surely we would want the coach to take us through the knockout stages and most probably the quarter-finals."

All host nations have progressed beyond the first round at World Cup finals but South Africa's poor recent form has created fear of failure.

Parreira was South Africa's coach from 2007 to April 2008 but quit when his wife became ill. He recommended compatriot Joel Santana as his successor but after 18 months and growing concern over the form of the South African side, he was fired last month after a run of eight defeats in nine games.

Parreira has promised to revive the fortunes of the team known as Bafana Bafana before the tournament which starts in less than eight months.

"I am happy and I'm very positive that we will achieve and that we will deliver what everybody is expecting ... the first target is to jump to the next round and after that the sky is the limit," Parreira said.

South Africa will train for one month in Brazil as part of their preparations.