World Cup 2010 - South Africa and France crash out

Tue, 22 Jun 16:56:00 2010

South Africa downed 10-man France 2-1 in Bloemfontein but it was not enough to prevent Carlos Alberto Parreira's side from becoming the first host nation to crash out of the World Cup finals at the opening group stage.

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First-half goals from Bongani Khumalo and Katlego Mphela and a controversial red card for Yoan Gourcuff gave South Africa unlikely hope of reaching the last 16, especially with Uruguay beating Mexico 1-0 in the other Group A game

The home fans tried to inspire them to add to their tally, but their hopes were dashed when French substitute Florent Malouda converted Franck Ribery's pass on 70 minutes.

Mexico and Uruguay progress from the section with South Africa and France eliminated.

The French head home without winning a game at the tournament only four years after they lost to Italy on penalties in the final.

France made six changes with captain Patrice Evra left out.

The radical overhaul came after coach Raymond Domenech suggested several players might not wish to play in the wake of Sunday's training ground strike and the sending home of Nicolas Anelka for disciplinary reasons.

France actually enjoyed the brighter moments in the opening 15 minutes before they were left looking ashen-faced as the home side struck with their first real foray forward on 19 minutes.

Siphiwe Tshabalala swung in a corner and Khumalo rose unmarked to head home. It was a personal disaster for the French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris who missed the ball, but their day would soon get worse six minutes later.

Gourcuff attempted a header in the heart of the South African box, but was inexplicably sent off by Colombian referee Oscar Ruiz for an elbow on MacBeth Sibaya.

It was a bizarre decision as he was clearly attempting to head the ball, but such moments seem to be commonplace in these finals.

South Africa did not waste any time in making their one-man advantage count.

The French were guilty of some more wretched defending as Mphela bundled home Tshabalala's cross from close range on 37 minutes.

The French manager Domenech looked completely stunned as his side continued to unravel and only an offside flag denied Mphela a second of the day seconds later.

Moeneeb Josephs pulled off a fine save to deny William Gallas from Ribery's free-kick, but Lloris was equally athletic at the other end to tip a raking Mphela 25 yarder past a post.

South Africa were further buoyed when news of Uruguay's opening goal against Mexico filtered through. One more goal from the hosts and Uruguay would be enough for Bafana Bafana and they came out for the second period in a buoyant mood.

M'Phela continued to carry their greatest hope as he hit the post on 51 minutes before Lloris swatted out his effort from distance on 57 minutes, but they began to visibly wilt.

France introduced Thierry Henry for Djibril Cisse and they finally ended a tiring home side's hopes when Malouda tucked into an empty net with 20 minutes left.

It was only South Africa's second win at a World Cup finals. They can leave with a sense of pride, unlike France who have now gone seven games without a win at a major tournament.

Match Facts

France v South Africa

Goals 1-2

1st Half Goals 0-2

Shots on Target 3-8

Shots off Target 5-10

Blocked Shots 0-3

Corners 3-5

Fouls 10-12

Offsides 5-3

Yellow Cards 1-0

Red Cards 1-0

Passing Success 83.1%-84.9%

Tackles 14-15

Tackles Success 71.4%-66.7%

Possession 44.1%-55.9%

Territorial Advantage 43.6%-56.4%

Desmond Kane / Eurosport

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