France 0 - 2 Mexico: 'Shameful' France heading for exit after Mexico defeat
FRANCE winger Florent Malouda admits his side's defeat to Mexico in Group A last night was "shameful", while defender Patrice Evra reacted to the loss by saying he feels France has become "a small football nation, and it hurts".
New Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez enhanced his burgeoning reputation with the opening goal as Mexico took a significant step towards qualification from the section and hastened France's early exit. Just nine minutes after coming off the bench the 22-year-old, who will officially move to Old Trafford from Chivas in a 7 million deal next month, sprang the offside trap to race on to Rafael Marquez's pass, round goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and coolly slot home.
Veteran striker and cult hero Cuauhtemoc Blanco sealed victory with a 79th-minute penalty.
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.
"It's shameful to lose like that," said Chelsea forward Malouda. "We can't leave a tournament without winning a match." His coach, Raymond Domenech, whose demeanour throughout the game was of a man who knows he only has a few weeks left in the job, had little to say afterwards.
"I'm lost for words," he said. "It's a real disappointment for those who believed in us. We did try but there was always something that didn't work. There's one match left. We'll play for pride and hope for a mir acle. We needed a draw to keep our fate in our hands and couldn't get it."
Most of the attacking football was played by Mexico, particularly before the interval.
And whereas France were restricted to set-pieces, Mexico looked dangerous from open play.
The introduction of Hernandez for Efrain Juarez in the second half had an almost immediate impact for the Mexicans. His pace took him clear of the defence and he skipped past the keeper to make it 1-0. Then when Abidal brought down Barrera, Blanco side-footed home from the spot to make it two and spark wild Mexican celebrations.
A draw against Uruguay on Tuesday will put both sides through and send France home, irrespective of their result against hosts South Africa.
France: Lloris, Sagna, Gallas, Abidal, Evra, Govou (Valbuena 69), Toulalan, Diaby, Malouda, Ribery, Anelka (Gignac 46). Subs not used: Mandanda, Reveillere, Planus, Gourcuff, Cisse, Henry, Squillaci, Diarra, Clichy.
Mexico: Perez, Osorio, Moreno, Rodriguez, Salcido, Marquez, Giovani, Juarez (Hernandez 55), Torrado, Vela (Barrera 31), Franco (Blanco 62). Subs not used: Ochoa, Castro, Aguilar, Guardado, Magallon, Torres, Bautista, Medina, Michel.
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