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World Cup 2010: Uru 1-0 Mex, Fra 1-2 SA – LIVE!

June 22, 2010

Banished French striker Nicolas Anelka is delighted he doesn't have to bother with all the World Cup nonsense any more...

...while captain Patrice Evra looks decidedly glum as he loses his place in the fallout from the French revolution

It’s all over in Rustenburg, where Uruguay have beaten Mexico. And it’s all over between France and South Africa too. France go out in disgrace, the hosts go out with dignity, but ultimately they were significantly weaker than Uruguay and Mexico. Uruguay will be delighted they have won the group, avoiding a probable second round meeting with Argentina. At one stage it all looked on for the hosts, but the mean old French spoiled the party with that Malouda goal. The Domenech era ends in defeat – much to rebuild there. The competition will miss the hosts, but Uruguay and Mexico deserved to get through and they will not fear anyone in the next round. Thanks for all your messages. See you next time.

90 mins
Modise hits a great shot that flies wide, but it’s all in vain. The vuvuzelas sound strangely somber now. And then Tshabalala has a great chance to give the crowd something to cheer but he hits his shot staright at Lloris from close in.

89 mins
It’s all petering out for the hosts now. They know the dream is over. Mexico don’t seem to care that they are through – they’re flying into tackles and looking for the win.

85 mins
Henry has a dismal shot from distance that almost goes out for a throw-in. It’s the end of an era for France. Good luck Laurent Blanc! Mexico are going for the win now – they want to avoid a second round meeting with Argentina.

81 mins
Hernandez gets a yellow card for swinging an arm in a penalty area melee. Anything more would have been harsh. The sting has gone out of both games now, although Mexico definitely want to avoid defeat. South Africa look sluggish and resigned to their fate. A win over France would be a feather in their collective cap, but it will be little consolation for going out of their tournament.

78 mins
Nomvethe makes a great run into the penalty area for Bafana Bafana but he is stopped in his tracks by some good French defending. Mexico are desperately going for an equaliser – they don’t want to leave anything to chance, even though it’s going to take a miracle now for South Africa to deny them their place in the last 16.

74 mins
As it stands Mexico will go through in second place with Uruguay group winners. Lots of SA goals needed but it looks like that Malouda goal has knocked the stuffing out of them. I’ve got a feeling we’re going to see two more goals – one for Mexico and another for France.

70 mins GOAL – FRANCE
That’s how to silence the vuvuzelas! Malouda has a tap-in from Ribery’s excellent run and cross. Could that be the nail in the hosts’ coffin?

68 mins
A magnificent tackle from Uruguay’s Pereira stops Hernandez in his tracks. OOOOH! Great chance for Mexico. Pereira whips in a perfect cross and Rodriguez powers his diving header wide. That should have been the equaliser.

64 mins
Mphela causing havoc again! The SA striker powers into the box and stabs the ball into the side-netting from close range. That could easily have been another goal. France are dismal. Surely the hosts will score again. Hernandez, scorer of Mexico’s first goal against France, is on for Blanco. They are starting to look a bit frantic now.

60 mins
Brilliant shot from Mphela! Lloris had to be at his best to keep that out. Ribery has a great chance for France. He really should have squared the ball to Henry but he went alone and blazed over. Mike Hill’s been on the gin early doors, it seems. “So caught up in all this football I just had a kick-about in my back garden in my Ivory Coast shirt,” he says. “Although it’s hotter than in South Africa at least I wasn’t using a Jabulani.”

55 mins
Mike Hill has asked a very good question: “If South Africa go through would this be the most dramatic turnaround in World Cup history?” I can’t think of a bigger one – apart from the dance move they used to celebrate the tournament’s opening goal – that was a lovely turnaround. Cisse has a punt for France but his shot flashes over the bar. Better from France. Cisse’s reward is to be immediately substituted for Thierry Henry. Mexico on the attack in Rustenberg, Uruguay coming tight back at them – there are more goals to come in both of these games…

52 mins
South Africa’s Parker turns neatly on the edge of the box and bangs in a shot – straight at Lloris, though. Malouda’s on for France, Gignac the man to make way. Mphela hits the post! great through-ball from Tshabalala and Mphela is on to it like a flash, pummeling his shot unluckily against the post. Uruguay and Mexico playing with purpose but not many chances being created.

47 mins
We’re off again! And South Africa are looking for more straight away. This is what the World Cup is all about….

I’ve got a feeling South Africa might just do this. Here’s the scenario – if the results stay like this, South Africa and Mexico will be level on points, so it will come down to goal difference. Mexico currently have a two goal cushion over South Africa, but this means another Uruguay goal and another South Africa goal would send the hosts through. Equally, a load more goals for South Africa or Uruguay would send the hosts through too. Simple, eh? Don’t forget, though, that an equaliser for Mexico will mean they go through whatever South Africa do. It’s all set up for a big old ding dong, anyway! LET’S RUMBLE!

Phew. Quite a ride so far. More of the same please, chaps. See you shortly for the second half.

45 mins
This is very dramatic. As it stands, another goal for the hosts and a second for Uruguay would send South Africa through to the next round. The second half of these games promises to be epic. France look beaten already and, down to ten men, they will surely ship some more goals. Uruguay are doing their bit. This could be a classic.

44 mins GOAL – URUGUAY
And Uruguay have scored! Suraez heads home a lovely Cavani cross. Just before that went in, Ben texted to say: “odds on a goalless draw in that game probably not great.” Good job you didn’t bet in play there Ben. Could have been the shortest bet of all time.

42 mins
Mphela bangs the ball in AGAIN but he was rightly flagged for offside. Great save by Josephs prevents a bouncing free-kick ending up in the net. Things have slowed down somewhat in the Mexico v Uruguay game. South Africa could still go through here, though. They need a couple more goals and a result in the other game. Oooooh! Mphela has another go – Lloris saves well down to his right.

And it’s 2-0 to South Africa! The ball gets bundled into the box and via a shanked Diaby clearance the ball ends up at the feet of Mphela who bundles Masilela’s cross home.

36 mins
Mike Hill agrees with Ben: “Red card seemed harsh, Evra and Henry look utterly fed up on the bench. Ready to go home I reckon.” Dead right. If ever a team looked like they’d rather be anywhere else, this is them.

34 mins
Ben has spoken: “Laurent Blanc must be regretting taking over this rabble. Don’t think it was a red card, though.” Je ne regrette rien, monsieur.

31 mins
Blimey. France a goal down and now a man down. The sending-off looks harsh but you can see why the ref did it. It was quite a mighty swing of the elbow into Sibaya’s throat. Mexico v Uruguay is still ticking along at a nice pace but no more chances.

25 mins
Lloris flaps AGAIN at a cross and almost concedes another – this time he gets away with it. Pereira has a great chance for Uruguay but he blazes wide from a good position. Mexico go up the other end and Guardado hits the bar with a rocket! Mphela almost scores again and then Gourcuff is SENT OFF! Challenging for a header in the South Africa box he throws out an elbow and the ref whips out the red card. Astonishing! It’s all happening now.

There’s some serious vuvuzela action going on at the Free State Stadium and it’s a goal for South Africa! A corner is swung in, which Lloris completely misses and Khumalo climbs highest at the back stick to head home.

18 mins
Forlan curls in a cross from a free-kick but Perez fists it clear. Parker has a shot from distance for the hosts but it balloons over. When are these players going to sort out their long-range shooting? It’s obviously possible, so why can’t they sort it out?

15 mins
Watching two games and trying to keep track of them is harder than you would think. I could do with a Zidane-style pair of eyes in the back of my head. Not much in the way of chances but both games being played at a lively pace. Forlan looks lively. Suarez has a dip from distance but it’s easily saved by Perez.

11 mins
Looks like my prediction of a tame draw was way off the mark – Uruguay v Mexico is a corker, all quick passing and energetic running. Fair play to the both of them. Perez hacks down Blanco but escapes a booking – he gets a bit of a talking to instead.

8 mins
First big chance – and it falls to Uruguay. Pereira booms another free-kick over the bar but then Suarez has a great chance but his shot flashes wide.

7 mins
The Mexican fans are numerous and extremely loud. Cagey stuff in both fixtures, but noticeable that neither Uruguay or Mexico are sitting back. South Africa look full of purpose, if a little short on quality.

4 mins
And we’re off! Nice ball into the box by Tshabalala almost gets Mphela in but his control lets him down. Torrado has a shot for Mexico that careers over the bar. Did we ever doubt them?

The crowd belt out a rousing version of the South African national anthem, followed by a particularly loud chorus of vuvuzelas. The hosts look ready to do something special. France’s rendition of the Marseillaise was slightly muted. The Mexican anthem is very dramatic, isn’t it? Lots of cymbal crashes. Uruguay’s is anthem is simply magnificent and extremely jolly. Uruguay’s players look very relaxed.

Aaaah, we’re getting to the business end of the World Cup now, when the real action begins. Any predictions for today? Here are mine:
Uruguay 1-1 Mexico
France 0-1 SA
A rousing and creditable win for the hosts while Mexico and Uruguay quietly go through. Any advances on that?

Jim Beglin on ITV says: “France, it serves you right. You robbed our chances.” You tell ’em Jim. I’m sure they’re listening.

Who else wants South Africa to tonk the French?

World Cup 2010 – Group A
Everything is set for one of the those great World Cup stitch-ups in today’s Group A finale. If Uruguay and Mexico draw, both will progress to the next round. Hosts South Africa and a France squad in disarray, on the other hand, need a handsome win and a result either way in the other fixture. The Mexican and Uruguayan coaches are making all the right noises, but will they really be trying that much to win? Let’s face it, they’ve done the hard work already and probably deserve a pleasant stroll in the sunshine.

The big pre-game news is that Raymond Domenech has punished the ringleaders of the mutinous players’ strike. Captain Patrice Evra is one of four players dropped from the team in a rejigged setup. Midfielder Alou Diarra will wear the armband in his absence. And we thought England had problems.

The hosts look destined to go out at the first hurdle – the first ever to do so. Further progress for them would have been great for the tournament but, in truth, they were inferior to Uruguay and Mexico and those two teams deserve to go through. Then again, things don’t always go to plan, do they? They’re all singing as usual. I think we can safely assume that the French team are not.

Here are the teams for Mexico v Uruguay:
Mexico: Perez, Osorio, Rodriguez, Moreno, Salcido, Torrado, Marquez, Guardado, Giovani, Blanco, Franco.
Uruguay: Muslera, Maxi Pereira, Lugano, Victorino, Fucile, Arevalo Rios, Perez, Pereira, Forlan, Suarez, Cavani.

And for France v South Africa:
France: Lloris, Sagna, Gallas, Squillaci, Clichy, A Diarra, Diaby, Gignac, Gourcuff, Ribéry, Cissé.
South Africa: Josephs, Masilela, Mokoena, Ngcongca, Khumalo, Sibaya, Tshabalala, Pienaar, Thanduyise Khuboni, Katlego Mphela, Parker

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Hill permalink
    June 22, 2010 2:33 pm

    Red card seemed harsh, Evra and Henry look utterly fed up on the bench. Ready to go home I reckon.

  2. Mike Hill permalink
    June 22, 2010 2:58 pm

    If South Africa go through would this be the most dramatic turnaround in World Cup history? Would be some achievement.

  3. Mike Hill permalink
    June 22, 2010 3:12 pm

    So caught up in all this football I just had a kick-about in my back garden in my Ivory Coast shirt. Although it’s hotter than in South Africa at least I wasn’t using a Jabulani.

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