Friday, June 18, 2010

Mexico Substitutes Shoot Down Awful French World Cup Hopes

I guess after yesterday's match, there is no longer any denial that the French team is poor. Talks about Yoann Gourcuff being a recluse with only one true friend in Toulalan implies that there are player divide within the French team. For the talent that they have in Ribery, Gourcuff, Evra, Gallas, Anelka, Malouda, it is very hard to find reasons why they are underperforming in South Africa. There can only be one reason - a lack of team spirit and determination. Oh, and a bungling Domenech.

Lest we forget, France stumbled into South Africa. They were unconvincing against Republic of Ireland but they were still expected to regroup and come out stronger. After all, Argentina regrouped and now their football is on a different level in this World Cup but France have indeed regressed.

Not taking anything away from Mexico, El Tri played an excellent game. In fact, the second round of group matches have seen teams coming out to attack and show a lot of intent to gain the necessary points to advance to the Round of 16. This has made for very good TV viewing and we are grateful for that. 13 goals so far in four second round group matches makes for some entertaining football.

Mexico was quick to attack. The three forwards of Vela, Franco and Giovanni troubled the aging French defence all night. Carlos Salcido's pace frightened Gallas and obviously the French were worried about conceding any penalties.When substitutes Javier Hernandez and Pablo Barrera came on, it was the same thing. Mexico were the only team in this tie, providing inventiveness and all the best moves.

Finally, Javi Hernandez showed why Manchester United snapped him up with a classy finish. The other substitute, Barrera won the penalty which Franco's replacement, Blanco took the longest run-up ever to blast the ball home, sending Hugo Lloris the wrong way. On this performance, Mexico will be heavily favoured to join Uruguay in the Round of 16.

This comment by Raymond Domenech summed up this French performance really,
“We needed a draw to keep our fate in our hands and couldn’t get it.”
Au Revoir, Les Bleus. We won't miss you.

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