France On Brink Of Elimination After Being Upset By Mexico, 2-0

France and Mexico try to catch-up to Uruguay in Group A knowing a loss on Thursday puts their chances of surviving into the knockout stage on life support.

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World Cup 2010, Mexico Vs. France: El Tri Send France To Edge Of Elimination, Win 2-0

México is on the brink of the knockstage while France's World Cup is near its end after El Tri's 2-0 win over Les Bleus in Polokwane.  Goals by Javier Hernández and Cuauhtémoc Blanco put México on four points in Group A, behind Uruguay on goal difference tiebreaker.  With one point, France sits in third place with one match remaining.

France got to halftime scoreless despite Mexico generating the better first half chances, but a 64th minute goal from Chicharito put El Tri ahead.  The goal came as William Gallas kept the 21-year-old striker onside while the French line tried to trap 28 yards from goal.  Rafa Marquez's chip from near the center circle was dropped perfectly over the back line, giving Hernández space to trap the ball, take a touch around an oncoming Hugo Lloris and finish into an empty net from sixteen yards out.

France never threatened an equalizer, giving up a penalty kick fifteen minutes later when Eric Abidal was adjudicated to have brought down Paulo Barrera to the right of the France area.  Cuauhtémoc Blanco converted the kick into Lloris's lower right hand corner, barely evading the diving `keeper, to seal the Mexican victory.

It was the first time in Mexico's history that they had defeated France.

The match saw another meek performance from France, who have only one point through two Group A matches.  They will play host South Africa on Tuesday needing a win, one of Mexico or Uruguay to win, and a goal difference of four (Mexico) or five (Uruguay) to advance.

Mexico needs only a draw to move into the knockout stage for the fifth straight tournament. 

If they beat Uruguay on Tuesday, they will win Group A and likely play South Korea or Greece.  A loss or a draw means a likely Round of 16 match-up with Argentina.


World Cup 2010, Mexico Vs. France: Cuauhtemoc Blanco Penalty Kick Puts Mexico Up 2-0

Cuauhtemoc Blanco has converted a penalty kick in the 79th minute against France to put Mexico up 2-0 in Polokwane. The kick was awarded after Eric Abidal took down Paulo Barrera in the penalty box. Blanco finished to the right of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who guessed correctly but missed the shot by inches.

Blanco had come on in the 62nd minute for Guillermo Franco.


World Cup 2010, Mexico Vs. France: Substitute Javier Hernandez Gives El Tri Lead In 64th Minute

Javier Hernández beat the France offside trap and took Rafa Marquez's chip in alone on Hugo Lloris.  One move to his right around an oncoming `keeper gave Chicharito an empty net from 16 yards and México a 1-0 lead in the 64th minute.

Early in the second half, Mexico had started reasserting control of the match, having had their first half momentum stymied by the halftime break.  Their more patient second half approach paid off when Hernández, 28 yards from goal, was kept onside by William Gallas.  Rafa Marquez chipped a perfect ball to the edge of the box, allowing the new Manchester United man an easy goal.

It was Hernández's eighth goal in 14 international caps.


2010 World Cup, Mexico Vs. France: Sides Play Scoreless Half, Jeremy Toulalan To Miss South Africa

Though France has had the better of possession, Mexico has looked the slightly more dangerous side in a relatively even, scoreless first half in Polokwane where the bigger news is who is no longer in the match and who will miss the next tone.

Carlos Vela has had to be subbed-out in the 31st minute after picking up a leg injury.  Pablo Barrera was brought on as a replacement by Javier Aguierre.

In stoppage time, Jeremy Toulalan picked-up a yellow card as a result of a professional foul.  The defensive midfielder will be suspended for France's match against South Africa, having also been booked on Friday.

France has had the better of the possession but has not been able to create scoring opportunities in the final third, while Mexico has created chances for Giovani dos Santos, Carlos Salcido and Barrera, mostly on the counter attack.

Both teams came into this match with one point, three points behind Uruguay in Group A.

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