KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – France have become a small footballing nation, captain Patrice Evra honestly summed up after a 2-0 defeat by Mexico left the 1998 champions in great danger of leaving the World Cup after the group stage.
France, who looked lost in Polokwane on Thursday, have one Group A match left, against South Africa on Tuesday in Bloemfontein, but could be sent packing even if they win it.
POLOKWANE, South Africa (Reuters) – Those who suggested France should not be at the World Cup in the first place might allow themselves a smug smile that they will probably not stay very long.
An uninspired display in a 0-0 draw with Uruguay last week and a truly awful one in a surprise 2-0 defeat by Mexico on Thursday left the 2006 runners-up threatened by another early exit following their Euro 2008 flop.
POLOKWANE (Reuters) – France were threatened by an embarrassing early World Cup exit after a surprise 2-0 defeat to Mexico in their second Group A game on Thursday.
Substitute forward Javier Hernandez beat an offside trap, raced into the box unchallenged and twisted his way past France keeper Hugo Lloris to put Mexico ahead on 64 minutes.
POLOKWANE, South Africa (Reuters) – After ruining South Africa’s opening party plans, Mexico take on an unsteady France side on Thursday eager to highlight their growing reputation as World Cup gatecrashers.
France’s household names hold no fears for a side who upset champions Italy 2-1 in a warm-up game before holding the hosts to a 1-1 draw in their first Group A match.
POLOKWANE (Reuters) – France’s misfiring marksmen have to hit the target sometime and will be inspired to do so in their second World Cup match against Mexico on Thursday, coach Raymond Domenech said on Wednesday.
France’s high-profile forwards have not scored an international goal since last November and had better wake up to avoid putting the 1998 champions in a tricky situation before facing hosts South Africa in their final Group A game.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – Florent Malouda has had problems with Raymond Domenech in the past but said on Tuesday that reports he had fallen out with the France coach again since the start of the World Cup were not true.
Malouda was left out of the starting lineup for France’s opening 0-0 draw with Uruguay on Friday and French media speculated the winger had paid the price for a heated exchange with the coach the previous day in training.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – Centre back William Gallas pulled out of a France training session on Monday with a sore muscle, a team spokesman said.
Gallas, who had been a doubtful starter for the World Cup because of a calf injury but played in France’s opening 0-0 draw with Uruguay on Friday, left accompanied by a team physiotherapist with 20 minutes left in the 60-minute session.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – When the France players visited a township on Sunday, the man all the excited, vuvuzela-blowing children wanted to touch was the World Cup’s most famous substitute, Thierry Henry.
Looking a bit lost and almost surprised at still being the centre of attention, Henry humbly obliged and signed a few autographs.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – France managed to keep a clean sheet in their opening World Cup match but they will only escape another frustrating campaign if they can also address a glaring shortage of fire power up front.
After having conceded a goal in each of their three warm-up games, the 1998 world champions looked tighter at the back in a 0-0 draw with Uruguay on Friday in Cape Town but failed to translate superior possession into scoring chances.
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – France are still looking to unearth a new Zinedine Zidane, but they at least seem to have found the next Patrick Vieira.
Abou Diaby was a ray a hope in France’s lacklustre 0-0 draw with Uruguay in their World Cup opener on Friday, stepping out of the shadow of Vieira, who is now in the twilight of his career and did not make the squad.