BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 22: Bongani Khumalo (#20) of South Africa celebrates scoring the opening goal with team mates during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group A match between France and South Africa at the Free State Stadium on June 22, 2010 in Mangaung/Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Bafana Bafana Victorious, But France Avoids A Blowout; South Africa Eliminated

France is in turmoil coming into their final group stage match, played against South Africa on Tuesday.

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2010 World Cup, South Africa Vs. France: Florent Malouda Goal Brings France To Within One, 2-1 South Africa

Franck Ribery was played through South Africa's channel between left back and center half, and when the French attacker played the ball around an oncoming Moeneeb Josephs to Florent Malouda, France had their first goal.  Malouda side footed a ball from 12 yards out into an empty net, making it 2-1 South Africa in the 71st minute.

France has played down a man throughout the second half but has stabilized their play after a first half that looked ripe for a South Africa rout.

With their goal, France has put South Africa three goals behind Mexico in goal difference, and if Les Bleus find another goal and draw South Africa, Bafana Bafana and Les Bleus will both be out of the 2010 World Cup.


World Cup 2010, South Africa Vs. France: Bafana Bafana Halfway To Making Up Gap On Mexico

South Africa has made up more than half of their goal difference disadvantage on Mexico, and with El Tri trailing Uruguay 1-0 at halftime of the other Group A match, Bafana Bafana has one half to extend their 2-0 lead over 10-man France and try to pull-off a miraculous qualification for the World Cup's knockout stage.

The hosts came into today's match on one point, needing a win, Mexico or Uruguay to lose, and a drastic turnaround in goal difference to advance to the next stage of the competition.  Mexico came into the day with a five goal advantage over South Africa; Uruguay, six.

Goals from Bongani Khumalo and Katlego Mphela have pulled back two goals against Mexico, while a red card to Yoann Gourcuff has set the stage for more scoring.

Khumalo's goal came early in the half off a Steven Pienaar corner kick, the central defender heading home at the far post to give South Africa a 1-0 lead.

Soon after Gourcuff's dismissal, Siphiwe Tshabalala set-up Mphela for an easy finish into an open goal, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris frozen at the near post before the winger's cross through the six.

South Africa needs to make up two more goals on Mexico to have a chance to advance, provided they finish with more goals scored than Mexico.  If they finish with fewer goal (but the same goal difference), Mexico would go through, while the same number of goals would force the teams to draw lots.


World Cup 2010, South Africa Vs. France: Katlego Mphela Puts Bafana Bafana Up Two In 38th Minute

South Africa has a 2-0 lead on after Katlego Mphela finished from on the goal line in 38th minute of their match against France.

Siphiwe Tshabalala blasted a cross through the six yard box from just to the left of goal, freezing goalkeeper Hugo Lloris at the near post. The ball hit left back Gael Clichy, who had his back to the play, allowing Mphela to slam home Bafana Bafana’s second goal.

South Africa needs one of Mexico or Uruguay to win in the other Group A match in order to have a chance to advance, but the team has already pulled abck two of the five goal difference that separated them from Mexico coming into the match.


World Cup 2010, South Africa Vs. France: High Elbow Earns Yoann Gourcuff Early Red Card

France is down to ten men after 26 minutes after midfielder Yoann Gourcuff was red-carded.

Gourcuff, making his return to the starting lineup after being dropped for the Mexico match, was shown straight red after leading with his elbow into an aerial challenge. The midfielder’s left elbow caught South Africa’s MacBeth Sibaya in the jaw, earning the Bordeaux star an obligatory red card.


World Cup 2010, South Africa Vs. France: Bongani Khumalo Heads South Africa To 1-0 Lead

A corner kick converted by Bongani Khumalo has given South Africa a 1-0 lead over France 20 minutes into the first half.

Khumalo climbed above a France defender at the far post to head Steven Pienaar’s corner kick in, giving South Africa their second lead of the tournament.

France has given five players their first tournament start in this match: Sebastien Squillaci, Gael Clihy, Alou Diarra, Djibril Cissé and Andre-Pierre Gignac.

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