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Archive for Friday, June 18, 2010

Mexico tops France, 2-0, at World Cup

Argentina, Greece also pick up victories in Group play

June 18, 2010

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Mexico 2, France 0

Mexico’s Francisco Javier Rodriguez, back, competes for the ball with France’s Florent Malouda during the World Cup Group A soccer match Thursday at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa. Mexico knocked off France, 2-0, to move to 1-0-1 in group play. France fell to 0-1-1.

Mexico’s Francisco Javier Rodriguez, back, competes for the ball with France’s Florent Malouda during the World Cup Group A soccer match Thursday at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa. Mexico knocked off France, 2-0, to move to 1-0-1 in group play. France fell to 0-1-1.

Polokwane, South Africa — Substitutes Javier Hernandez and Cuauhtemoc Blanco each scored in Mexico’s 2-0 victory over France at the World Cup on Thursday, leaving Mexico needing only a draw to reach the next round.

Hernandez, nicknamed “Chicharito (Little Green Pea),” ran onto Rafael Marquez’s pass as the France defense stopped, believing Hernandez was offside. He dribbled around goalkeeper Hugo Lloris before guiding the ball home in the 64th minute.

Hernandez’s grandfather, Tomas Balcazar, scored for Mexico against France in the 1954 World Cup.

Blanco put in a penalty kick in the 79th minute after Eric Abidal fouled another substitute, Pablo Barrera.

Mexico next plays Uruguay, which also needs a draw to advance. France has only one point.

France has to beat South Africa and hope Mexico and Uruguay don’t draw their match in Tuesday’s final group games.

Argentina 4, South Korea 1

Johannesburg — Gonzalo Higuain scored a hat trick and Argentina beat South Korea at the World Cup on Thursday, putting the South Americans on the brink of qualifying for the next round.

Argentina took the lead in the 17th minute when Park Chu-young deflected in a free kick from Lionel Messi. Higuain made it 2-0 in the 33rd after Nicolas Burdisso passed along a cross from Maxi Rodriguez.

In first-half injury time, Lee Chung-yong pounced on a defensive mistake to close the gap, but Higuain’s two second-half goals — in the 76th and 80th minutes — put the game away.

Argentina leads Group B with six points off two victories and one game remaining in group play. South Korea and Greece are tied for second place with three points apiece.

Greece 2, Nigeria 1

Bloemfontein, South Africa — Greece claimed its first World Cup win, rallying to beat 10-man Nigeria in a World Cup Group B match on Thursday.

Vassilis Torosidis poked home a loose ball in the 71st minute after a mistake from Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama to make history for Greece, which had lost all four previous World Cup matches.

Nigeria opened the scoring in the 16th minute at Free State Stadium when Kalu Uche’s curling free kick from 35 yards deceived everyone, particularly goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas, who moved the wrong way.

But the game changed in the 33rd minute when Nigeria midfielder Sani Kaita was shown a straight red card for kicking Torosidis.

Striker Dimitris Salpingidis equalized in the 44th minute with a deflected shot before Torosidis’ winner.

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