Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bongani Khumalo and Katlego Mphela scored to lead South Africa to a 2-1 win over a France team.

Bongani Khumalo and Katlego Mphela scored first-half goals to lead South Africa to a 2-1 World Cup win over a France team in turmoil. Despite the win Tuesday, Bafana Bafana became the first host nation to be eliminated in the group stage.

Substitute Florent Malouda scored for France in the 70th.
Plagued by internal strife, the 2006 runner-up was forced to play with 10 men after Yoann Gourcuff was ejected for elbowing Macbeth Sibaya in the 25th minute.

The French also were eliminated from the tournament, while Uruguay and Mexico advanced from Group A.

After playing with a lone striker in its first two matches, South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira opted to put two men up front against France — Bernard Parker and Mphela — and it paid off.

Mphela gave the France defense fits, with strong runs and dangerous drives from distance. He nearly scored his second goal in the 43rd with a right-footed drive from 25 yards that forced a diving save from Hugo Lloris. Then his right-footed shot hit the crossbar five minutes later.

South Africa's attacking style brought the crowd at Free State Stadium to life, and the home fans roared with each Bafana Bafana foray into the French half.

"I really thought we could pull through," Khumalo said.

Facing a 2-0 halftime deficit, France coach Raymond Domenech brought on Florent Malouda at the half and striker Thierry Henry 10 minutes later to try to boost his team's flagging attack.

The changes had little impact, until Ribbery collected a through ball deep on the right flank and crossed to Malouda in the middle to finish.

South Africa is the first host nation not to advance to the second round in 80 years of World Cup play.

Team Line-Ups:

South Africa: Moeneeb Josephs, Bongani Khumalo, Aaron Mokoena, Tsepo Masilela, Anele Ngcongca (Siboniso Gaxa 55'), Thanduyise Khuboni, MacBeth Sibaya, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Steven Pienaar, Katlego Mphela, Bernard Parker (Siyabongan Nomvethe 68')

France: Hugo Lloris, Sebastian Squillaci, William Gallas, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Abou Diaby, Alou Diarra (Sidney Govou 82'), Djibril Cisse (Thierry Henry 52'), Yoann Gourcuff, Frank Ribery, Andre-Pierre Gignac (Florent Malouda 45')


Post a Comment