Friday, June 18, 2010

POLOKWANE, South Africa(AP) Substitutes Javier Hernandez and Cuauhtemoc Blanco scored a goal each Thursday in Mexico's 2-0 win over France at the World Cup, leaving the French on the verge of elimination from Group A.
Mexico went ahead in the 64th minute when Hernandez ran onto Rafael Marquez's pass and rounded goalkeeper Hugo Lloris before guiding the ball home. Hernandez's grandfather, Tomas Balcazar, scored for Mexico against France in the 1954 World Cup, although that was a consolation goal.
Blanco converted a penalty in the 79th after Eric Abidal fouled Pablo Barrera, who came on for the injured Carlos Vela in the first half.
``We have to enjoy this win,'' Marquez said. ``We have to go step-by-step and be calm.''
Mexico is now level on points with Uruguay, both with four. They play each other in the final group game knowing a draw will be enough for both to advance. France and South Africa both have one point, leaving both needing a win in their match Tuesday while hoping for a result in the other game.
``We're not going to go out of this tournament without winning a match,'' France winger Florent Malouda said. ``It's shameful to lose like that. It's a question of saving our honor.''
France winger Mathieu Valbuena said the players were inconsolable after the defeat.
``There were no words spoken, there's nothing you can say after a defeat like that,'' Valbuena said. ``Of course it hurts a lot. But we have to forget this defeat and think about the South Africa match.''
France coach Raymond Domenech said it was a similar feeling to the 2008 European Championship all over again, with a scoreless draw followed by a defeat, and his controversial six years as coach could end in more embarrassment.


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