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.