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World Cup – Day 12, Group A

Very dramatic morning session .. all four teams were eligible to advance, and the likelihood of Mexico and Uruguay playing for the draw was small because 2nd in the group would be facing Argentina.

France 1 v South Africa 2

France did not play well in the first half, in all likelihood because Domenech apparently picked his team for reasons related to their soap opera rather than to get the best squad. South Africa pressed the attack, got two goals, missed a couple of good chances, and France was down to 10 as Johan Gourcouff threw a silly elbow and was sent off. That combined with Uruguay scoring against Mexico, got the Bafana Bafana and their fans optimistic that they might be able to climb out of the goal difference hole created by the Uruguay thumping.

Les Bleus woke up in the second half and made a match of it.  They got a goal back (and broke the Bafana hearts) in the 70th minute from Florent Malouda, a second half sub, assisted by Franck Ribery.  One of the many French mysteries of the tournament is why Malouda wasn’t on the pitch for every minute.

Mexico 0 – Uruguay 1

These two teams played an entertaining game.  Uruguay was deserving of the win, and had more chances. Uruguay scored the only goal just before halftime, and then hunkered down in the second half to hold the win.  Mexico controlled the ball and the pace in the second half, but couldn’t challenge the front of the goal.  So it ended 1-0, and both teams advance and Mexico playing Argentina.

The two best teams from the group advanced, but I would have liked to see the Bafana Bafana go instead of El Tri.

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