2006 Runners-Up France On The Brink Of Elimination
Friday, 18th June 2010 at 09:56am
Two second half goals from Mexico's Javier Hernandez and Cuauhtemoc Blanco were enough to take all three points in Polokwane and leave Raymond Domenech's side on the brink of elimination from the 2010 tournament just four years after finishing as runners-up to Italy.
Mexico thoroughly deserved the win as they created the better chances throughout and their quick interplay proving too much for Les Blues whose squad is thought to be on the brink of implosion.
Neither side could find a breakthrough in the opening 45 minutes but Mexico finally broke the deadlock on the hour mark and it was Hernandez, on as a substitute who gave El Tri the lead, running onto a through ball and slotting home after rounding 'keeper Hugo Lloris.
37-year-old Blanco doubled Mexico's lead on 79 minutes from the penalty spot after Pablo Barrera had been brought down in the box.
France offered very little in way of a response and now face the very real prospect of being on the first plane home.
In Group B, Argentina became the first side to qualify for the round of 16 with a comprehensive 4-1 win against South Korea.
Gonzalo Higuain was the star of the show, bagging a hat trick as Diego Maradona's men turned on the style.
Argentina picked up where they left off against Nigeria and took the lead when Park Chu-Young put the ball into his own net and Higuain doubled the lead with his first of the night to give Argentina a two-goal cushion.
As the sides were about to head into the break a defensive lapse by Dimichelis, on for the injured Walter Samuel, allowed Lee-Chong-Yung in to pull a goal back.
After the break, Yeom Ki-Hun wasted a glorious chance to level the match and his wastefulness was punished by Higuain who added a second and then a third to score the first hat trick of the finals.
In the second Group B match, Greece came back from a goal down to register their first ever World Cup win at the expense of Nigeria.
The Super Eagles took the lead after 16 minutes when Kalu Uche's freekick sailed past Tzvoras in the Greek goal.
The Nigerians were in the ascendancy until Sani Kaita was dismissed for an act of stupidty, kicking out at Vasileios Torosidis.
With the man advantage, Greece worked their way back into the match and levelled the scores with a deflected shot from Dimitrios Salpingidis.
Greece then took the lead in the second half when Torosidis pounced on a rebound from Nigerian Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama to give Rehhagel's men the three points.