Cape Town - 1996 Bafana Bafana AFCON winning coach, Clive Barker, sees the Algeria tie as a must win for South Africa.
Read: GI backs Bafana keepers
According to Soccer Laduma, Barker admits the first game is “crucial” and Bafana Bafana must do everything in their power to get a positive result.
"The first game is the most crucial one. Remember the Springboks had to beat New Zealand and we had to overcome Cameroon in that first game and we went on to win the tournament,” said Barker.
"It's very, very important to get used to playing top teams. I remember when we were to play Brazil, we were very nervous but Lucas Radebe and Mark Fish were already playing in Europe so that helped us. As for Algeria, they have the European influence and they are tough but if you saw the way we played against Mali in the last friendly game we showed that we have turned the corner.
"We are quick against tough opponents and if we play like that tonight, we will win the game and start the tournament on a positive note which is what we want,"
Kick-off is schedule for 21:00 (SA time).
Bafana Bafana starting XI:Darren Keet, Anele Ngcongca, Thabo Matlaba, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Rivaldo Coetzee, Dean Furman (C), Andile Jali, Oupa Manyisa, Thuso Phala, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Tokelo Rantie
Substitutes: Jackson Mabokgwane (GK), Brilliant Khuzwayo (GK), Ayanda Gcaba, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Themba Zwane, Mandla Masango, Bongani Zungu, Bernard Parker, Siyabonga Nhlapho, Bongani Ndulula.
Suspended for the match: Eric Mathoho, Reneilwe Letsholonyane.