Saturday, June 19, 2010

Marvellous Mexico mauls faulty France

0 - 2

6:30 PM GMT, June 17, 2010
Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane, South Africa

New Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez enhanced his burgeoning reputation with the opening goal as Mexico took a significant step towards qualification from Group A and hastened France's early exit at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

It was Mexico's first win over France at senior level and no less than they deserved after a performance full of vigour and attacking invention.
For the French, winners on home soil in 1998 and runners-up four years ago, the prospect of ignominious failure looms large - as it did at Euro 2008 when they failed to progress from their group.

Javier Hernández (64')
CuauhtĂ©moc Blanco (pen 79')

Man of the Match: Carlos Salcido


  • Man of the Match: Carlos Salcido - A dashing performance at left back, full of pace and agility, one may have mistaken him for Patrice Evra at his best. Making penetrating runs up the pitch, Salcido was able to peg back the French attacks and was solid in defence when called upon as well.

  • France verdict: Insipid and lacking ambition once again, the team look completely out of sorts and are not helped by some bizarre decisions from their coach. Playing Franck Ribery behind a lone striker, there was nothing in the final third to suggest that they were ever going to break the deadlock and Mexico were comfortable throughout. Keeping Sidney Govou in the side did not work and talisman Thierry Henry, again, warmed the bench.

  • Mexico verdict: Fluid on the ball and lively up front, their positive attitude embarrassed a French side that many expected to come out on top of the group. El Tri have some tough defenders to win the ball back and attack with gusto when they have possession. Quick, exciting and full of running, they deserve a place in the second round based on their first two performances.

  • Could do better: William Gallas - While his defensive partner Eric Abidal gave away a stonewall penalty in the second half, Gallas contributed to the first goal with a poor attempt at playing offside. However, his crowning moment in the match was when he decided to let Salcido shoot instead of closing him down in the box and he was lucky it was hit straight at Hugo Lloris.

  • Stat attack: Since Zindine Zidane's retirement after the World Cup final in 2006, France are without a win in their five matches at international tournaments and they have not scored a World Cup goal outside Europe since Michel Platini's strike against Brazil in the 1986 quarter-finals.

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