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World Cup: France vs. Mexico (Match Day Commentary)

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The World Cup has lacked many marquee match ups so far, but today Mexico and France face a must-win situation as they meet at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane (2:30pm EDT , ESPN2/ESPN3.com).

Both nations come into the match after disappointing draws in their opening match ups and will need a victory to help their case for the knock out stages. France's vaunted talent failed to show up against Uruguay in a disappointing match up and will need a result heading into their final match against a South African side that will be immensely motivated.

Mexico is in a very similar situation to the United States, a tie would keep them in the hunt for the round of 16 while a loss would spell the end of El Tri's South African Adventure. A win would help state their case for the top spot in Group A which would allow either nation to avoid an in-form Argentina side that dismantled South Korea 4-1 earlier today.

This is Adam Serrano and I'll providing commentary throughout the match. As always please share your thoughts, feelings and analysis in the comments section below. Enjoy the match!

FINAL -  It was a very tight first half, but Mexico came out impassioned in the second half and the inclusions of Chicharito and Blanco allowed El Tri to finally convert on their countless chances. Mexico will need a victory over Uruguay to win Group A and avoid a match up against arch-rival Argentina. For France, the French fans will call for blood tomorrow after Domenech's side could not convert any of their chances from dead ball opportunities. Fans of Les Bleus will also ask why prolific strikers Cisse and Henry were left on the bench when the result was still within reach.

That's all for me tonight. I'm Adam Serrano and Gracias a todos for following along with me this afternoon. Remember to check back on SoccerByIves.Net for all of your World Cup news. Adios!

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FINAL – And the Whistle is blown! MEXICO 2 France 0

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93rd Minute – A victory that will break a number of streaks for both sides. With the loss, France will lose their first match to Mexico and their first match to a CONCACAF side ever. While Mexico's victory is their first against European opposition since 1994 and their first over a World Cup champion during World Cup play.

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90th Minute – 3 Minutes of stoppage time.

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89th Minute – The inclusion of Chicharito and Blanco have done wonders for Mexico tonight. They have been very impressive, but I would expect Blanco to remain on the bench and remain the impact sub for El Tri.

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87th Minute – Many are expecting a poor game from Mexico's match against Uruguay, but I would expect both to go for the win to avoid playing a powerful Argentine side that is finally clicking.

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85th Minute – Aguirre has completely outcoached Domenech today. The French Coach left his most experienced attackers Cisse and Henry on the bench and it will now be too late as Mexican fans celebrate.

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83rd Minute – Another poor free kick by Ribery. The French have an enormous amount of chances during dead ball situations, but the efforts have been poor from Les Bleus.

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81st Minute – That is the third time that Blanco has scored in a World Cup Final. A goal in 98, 02 and 2010.

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79th Minute – Two generations of Mexico attackers are about to give Mexico their first victory over France since the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

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78th Minute – BLANCO WITH THE GOAL!!!! MEXICO UP 2-0!!!!!!!

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77th Minute – PENALTY!!!!! ABIDAL WITH THE FOUL ON BERRERA!!!

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76th Minute – Mexico earns the corner. 

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73rd Minute – Gignac fires a shot way over the bar. No luck for France as Henry finally gets up.

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70th Minute – Dos Santos nearly puts Mexico up two, but the chance goes across the goal mouth.

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69th Minute – FRANCE SUB: Still no Henry for France as Mathieu Valbuena comes on for Govou

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67th Minute – Poor free kick right there by Ribery goes straight to Perez, but France will maintain possession in the Mexican zone.

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66th Minute – France will need to turn up the heat here. That "Ching Ching" sound you hear are thousands of Chicharito Manchester United jerseys being sold at this very moment.

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64th Minute – Lovely ball by Marquez as Chicharito barely stays onside. All alone with Lloris, Chicharito keeps up the family tradition of scoring on France. Mexico with a 1-0 lead now.

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63rd Minute – CHICHARITO WITH THE GOAL!!!!!!!! MEXICO TAKES A 1-0 LEAD!!!!!!!

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62nd Minute – Aguirre will turn to the veteran Blanco over the speed of Guardado. Not very surprising as Mexico is getting chances with this group of players. Blanco could be the stabilizing force for El Tri here.

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62nd Minute – MEXICO SUB: Cuauhtemoc Blanco comes in for Franco

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61st Minute – Gallas with a foul on Franco and the chance for France is wasted.

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60th Minute – France earns a corner, its seventh of the night.

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59th Minute – Poor free kick by Gio Dos Santos. The ball goes way over the bar.

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58th Minute – Mexico with a free kick after Dos Santos is fouled

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57th Minute – Interesting tidbit of trivia. Chicharito's Grandfather Tomas Balcazar scored for Mexico against France in the 1954 World Cup. Can history repeat itself?

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56th Minute – Diaby welcomes Chicharito with a harsh foul. Mexico with a free kick in their own zone.

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54th Minute – MEXICO SUB: CHICHARITO comes on for Efrain Juarez

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54th Minute – FANTASTIC SAVE BY PEREZ ON A SHOT BY MALOUDA! Corner for France

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53rd Minute – The match is slowing down as Chicharito prepares to come on for Mexico

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51st Minute – Interesting little play by Marquez, but the Mexican chance once again ends up over the bar of Lloris.

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50th Minute – Mexico gets a dangerous free kick in the French third of the field.

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49th Minute – ANOTHER YELLOW CARD for Hector Moreno off a clumsy challenge.

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47th Minute – YELLOW CARD Juarez picks up a silly booking and will miss the final group match against Uruguay

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45th Minute – One sub for France as the disappointing Nicolas Anelka will give way for Andre-Pierre Gignac.

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45th Minute – And We're Back!

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HALFTIME – As we wait for the start of the second half, lets hear your predictions of how this match will end. Also let me hear your predictions of the United States match against Slovenia tomorrow.

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HALFTIME- Once again the story for both sides is a number of missed opportunities. Mexico has wasted at least four or five good scoring chances while France has had a great deal of possession in the Mexican zone, only to lose the ball to a tough Mexican defense. Expect Henry to come into the match soon to add some more attacking flair.

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HALFTIME – Fairly even half from both sides. Each have had their chances with France dominating the early part of the first half while Mexico has really come on in the last 20 minutes to earn a great deal of chances. We will likely see the inclusion of Guardado and Chicharito in the second half for El Tri as they will press for the win that they need to state their case for a spot in the second round.

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45+1 – YELLOW CARD for Toualan who will now miss the next match.

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45th Minute – Weak shot by Anelka is easily saved by Perez as we approach the end of the half.

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44th Minute -  France looking for one last chance before the half. The French are controlling possession right now, but are being immensely pressured by the Mexican defense.

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39th Minute – Dos Santos with the off balance shot that goes just wide. More wayward shots by El Tri.

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38th Minute – Fairly even half as we approach the end. Mexico has weathered the French storm and has looked the most dangerous of the two teams so far.

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37th Minute – Malouda goes down as Marquez gives up a free kick near the box.

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34th Minute – France putting a great deal of pressure on the Mexican defense but Salcido and Marquez are coming up big today to keep this score tied at 0-0.

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33rd Minute – Barrera nearly comes in to strike that one but once again "Saint" Lloris comes up big to deflect that ball away.

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31st Minute – MEXICO SUB: PABLO BARRERA FOR VELA. The Pumas man comes on as France wastes a corner.

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29th Minute – Vela goes down once again. It doesn't look like he'll be able to continue. It looks like he strained his hamstring after that battle with Toulalan

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28th Minute – 46 degrees with 5-10 Mph winds. Now that is chilly!

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27th Minute – LLORIS WITH THE SAVE! SALCIDO has a great chance, but the French keeper comes up big!

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26th Minute – The chants of "Ole! Ole!" go up from the mostly Pro Mexico crowd as Mexico spreads the ball across the field.

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23rd Minute – France earns a corner. Malouda earning that one.

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22nd Minute – Moment of danger for El Tri right there. Malouda with a dangerous run, finds Ribery but the Mexicans clear.

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21st Minute – The free kick hits the wall but Mexico still threatening with the ball in the French third.

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19th Minute – Evra and Juarez battle and it leads to a dangerous Mexico Free kick.

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18th Minute – Salcido with a shot in all kinds of space, but it goes just wide of the target. Mexico can't seem to hit on target at the moment.

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16th Minute – Malouda flubs a decent chance and it will go out for a Conejo goal kick.

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14th Minute – Mexico pushing up field but Sagna stops the run as France retains the possession.

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12th Minute – OVER THE POST! Franco with a great chance, but once again a Mexico forward fires it over the post. Wasteful.

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11th Minute – Malouda with a great little run, but the ball goes out for a goal kick. France really turning on the heat on El Tri right now. 

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10th Minute – France Corner after Ribery picks Marquez's pocket

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8th Minute – HORRIBLE SHOT by Vela. Great ball by Marquez to Vela, but the youngster fires the shot way over the bar.

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6th Minute – Ball goes straight to Perez, but Mexico once again gives up possession as France continue the pressure in the Mexican third of the field.

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5th Minute – Testy few minutes as Juarez fouls Diaby. Free kick for France.

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4th Minute – YELLOW CARD for FRANCO – It looks like we're going to see a few yellows for this match. Free kick for the French on the card goes just wide.

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3rd Minute – Clear offside right there by Gio Dos Santos. Great build up for Mexico there.

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2nd Minute – France with an early free kick, but Mexico does enough to clear the ball out of danger. Goal kick for Conejo Perez.

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1st Minute : Here We Go!

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PRE-GAME: Here come a pair of my favorite anthems (behind the Star Spangled Banner of course). La Marseillaise and Himno Nacional Mexicano.

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PRE-GAME: As announced yesterday, Rafa Marquez will get the captains armband today for El Tri. Aguirre has stated that he would rotate between his three captains Torrado, Marquez and Blanco should the need arise.

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PRE-GAME: Are USMNT fans supporting Mexico out of CONCACAF solidarity or will you be pulling for France to beat Mexico?

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PRE-GAME: No Changes for Vasco Aguirre and his side that drew against South Africa. Fans will have to be shocked that Andres Guardado and Chicharito Hernandez will be absent from the starting line up. There is one change for Raymond Domenech's side as Yoann Gourcuff will make way for Florent Malouda. A move that will slide Franck Ribery into the center of the park with Malouda lining up on the left side.

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PRE-GAME: Here are the line ups.

FRANCE:

————–Anelka————–

Malouda———-Ribery———–Gouvou

—–Diaby——–Toulalan——–

Evra—-Gallas—-Abidal—-Sagna

—————Lloris————-

MEXICO:

———————Vela——————–

———Franco——–Dos Santos——-

—Torrado——Marquez——-Juarez—

–Salcido–Rodriguez–Osorio–Aguilar–

——————-Perez——————–

217 comments
  • Mario

    I know it was like they gave a free taco bell discount to the refs, then again the French played very very ugly.

    Like

  • Stephen

    I love the USA but I pull for CONCACAF opponents because it silences all those damn Eurosnobs. Granted, I don’t think that France was actually predicted to do extremely well this time around, they surely weren’t predicted to look absolutely inept and be held scoreless in 2+ games. The only European team that looked somewhat decent is Germany, who played a pretty terrible team. So, yeah, I am all for the Mexican-US rivalry but I pull for CONCACAF competition. Also, it may help the US’s chances in the World Cup bid.

    Like

  • Julius

    Your right give the refs the best tacos they’ve ever tasted(not knowing they stuffed them with ring worms) and laugh it off hahahahahah!!

    Like

  • America

    True..given that America is a continent and
    not a country. Now, are you talking about North America, South America, or Central America.

    Like

  • Rick

    Central America not North America making them Central Americans, don’t make it seem like they have the right to come to the U.S.

    Like

  • Jamez

    I think Freddy is the same he plays better when he’s in these types of competitions compared to club football.

    Like

  • America

    The play you are talking about when the juarez shoved the french player, it was retaliation. After being fouled and knocked down another france player kicked the ball hard towards him while he was on the ground.

    Do you think it is right to kick the ball at someone you just fouled and is on the ground?

    Plus, juarez did not get away with it. He received a yellow card and will miss the next game.

    So, relax and enjoy the games JR.

    Like

  • America

    The US national team out of pure luck came out with a draw againts England….and now your saying they would beat France walking?

    Regarding the first goal. All comentators and sports casts had to see the play in slow motion to decide if the player was offsides. As you saw yourself, it was a tight play. Now, FIFA tells the refs that in a close call if there is any doubt to let the play go on.

    The penalty….really did not figure into the final outcome. France never came close to scoring. By the way it was a penalty. Barrera blew by the defender, out of las resort the defender slid and hit barrera. Notice, the defender never touched the ball, thus it should have been a penalty plus a red card for the defender given that he was the last man.

    Like

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