Mexico win leaves France on brink of World Cup exit

POLOKWANE, South Africa (AFP) - Mexico stunned France 2-0 in a World Cup Group A match here on Thursday to leave the 1998 winners and 2006 finalists teetering on the brink of elimination.

Substitute Javier Hernandez, who will play for Manchester United next season, put Mexico ahead in the 64th minute after rounding French 'keeper Hugo Lloris and coolly slotting the ball into the net soon after entering the game.

Mexican football fans celebrate their 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa football match victory against France at the Angel de la Independencia in Mexico City, on June 17, 2010. AFP

Mexico increased their advantage after an increasingly ragged France conceded a penalty when Eric Abidal scythed down Pablo Barrera, which 37-year-old Mexican striker Cuauhtemoc Blanco converted to the joy of Mexico's fans.

France created few clear chances, although Florent Malouda tested Mexican goalkeeper Oscar Perez with a rasping shot from outside the penalty area six minutes after half-time, and Franck Ribery repeated the feat two minutes later.

The result means Uruguay and Mexico only need to draw in their final Group A game on Tuesday to qualify for the next round and send France, who play host nation South Africa the same day, crashing out.

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