Thursday, 17th June 2010
Sombreros Off to Mexico
France vs Mexico
With opening day draws for both of these nations, France and
Mexico needed to think about victory. But only one team can win.
The game started lively enough but it's still surprising to see so
many shots going high and wide at this level; of wait, let's blame the ball.
The longer the half wore on, the more desperate the situation looked -
especially for France - with too many passes going astray.
Mexico looked more dangerous going forward but were let down by poor
finishing; while France, just didn't know where to look most of the time.
France really needed to do something in the second-half to save their
tournament. If Mexico were to win here, a Mexico draw with Uruguay would see the two Latin
Americans through; no matter what South Africa and France did.
A scrappy start to the second-half might have suggested that the
mathematical probabalities were playing in the minds of the French players and freezing
them, like the fingers in their matching blue gloves.
Nine minutes after coming on, Javier Hernandez left the France defence
motionless to run on to a through ball and round Hugo Lloris unchallenged.
France made it even harder for themselves when Abidal brought down
Pablo Barrera in the penalty area. With just over ten minutes to go, 37 year-old
Cuauhtemoc Blanco slotted the ball home from the spot to put the game beyond France's
France, who needed the helping hand of Henry to qualify for South
Africa now need help from Uruguay; and for South Africa to have less will to win than the
French. Now that would be fantasy football.
Laurent Blanc could be the manager of France a couple of weeks earlier
than he thought.
France 0 Mexico 2
0:1 Javier Hernandez (64 mins)
0:2 Cuauhtemoc Blanco (79 mins) - penalty.
Man of The Match:
Javier Hernandez - Only on the pitch for little over half an hour, but that's when Mexico
started to look like a winning team.
1 Hugo Lloris; 13 Patrice Evra, 3 Eric Abidal, 5 William Gallas, 2 Bacary Sagna; 15
Florent Malouda, 19 Abou Diaby, 14 Jeremy Toulalan, 10 Sidney Govou; 21 Nicolas Anelka, 7
1 Oscar Perez; 3 Carlos Salcido, 2 Francisco Rodriguez, 5 Ricardo Osorio, 15 Hector
Moreno; 6 Gerardo Torrado, 4 Rafael Marquez, 16 Efrain Juarez; 9 Guillermo Franco, 11
Carlos Vela, 17 Giovani Dos Santos.
Khalil Al Ghamdi (Saudi Arabia)
31 Mins (Mexico) - 7 Pablo Barrera for 11 Carlos Vela
46 Mins (France) - 11 Andre-Pierre Gignac on for 21 Nicolas Anelka
55 Mins (Mexico) - 14 Javier Hernandez on for 16 Efrain Juarez
62 Mins (Mexico) - 10 Cuauhtemoc Blanco on for 9 Guillermo Franco
69 Mins (France) - 20 Mathieu Valbuena on for 10 Sidney Govou
4 Mins - Guillermo Franco (Mexico)
45 Mins - Jeremy Toulalan (France) - misses next match.
48 Mins - Efrain Juarez (Mexico)
49 Mins - Hector Moreno (Mexico)
78 Mins - Eric Abidal (France)
82 Mins - Francisco Rodriguez (Mexico)
0 Red Cards.
Of the six matches played between France and Mexico, France have won five and drawn one.
World Cup Finals matches between France and Mexico ended (1:1) in
London at England 1966; (3:2) in Geneva at Switzerland 1954; and (4:1) in Montevideo at
the start of Uruguay 1930.
During the 2001 Confederations Cup in Ulsan, France swept past Mexico
in a wave of four goals to nil.
2010 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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