FRANCE IN TROUBLE France need a win against hosts South Africa in their final game and hope for the other result to go their way if they are to reach the last-16 after a desperately poor performance against Mexico. However, for all of France's failings, full credit must go to Mexico this evening, as they dominated in midfield, looked solid at the back and caused all sorts of problems in attack. The excellent Giovani ran Gallas and Abidal ragged, while it was the three substitutes who made the difference - Hernandez bagging a cool first before Barrera won the penalty for Blanco to tuck away. Nobody will want to face this Mexico team on that evidence, but France are facing an early exit... and it's the least they deserve for a dismal and disjointed start to the tournament.
IT'S ALL OVER The whistle goes to put France out of their misery. They have been totally outplayed by Mexico tonight, who thoroughly deserve to join Uruguay on four points at the top of Group A.
ADDED TIME The fourth official reveals that there will be three minutes of injury time.
WASTED CHANCE A long pumped ball into the box reaches Valbuena at the far post. He takes his shot first time, but hammers it miles over the bar. You've got to keep it down from there! What a waste!!!
WHERE'S THE CHANGE?! France are 2-0 down and facing a World Cup group exit, but still the manager does not introduce another striker. Bizarre!
ABIDAL EXPOSED The youthful Mexican front-line have exposed the lack of pace of Abidal at the back, and the defender has looked increasingly uncomfortable in his unfamiliar role at the centre of defence.
SURELY IT'S ALL OVER The French faces in the crowd look glum, and it is surely too much to ask for this team to transform into a quality attacking unit for the last five minutes.
INTO THE WALL Ribery lines up a free-kick, but can only find the wall.
MORE ON THAT GOAL Blanco's run-up was huge, but the veteran's finish was one to match, and it's the least that Mexico deserve after a performance that has bettered France in virtually every aspect. Abidal was booked for the challenge that gave away the spot-kick.
GOOAAALLL!!! Blanco tucks away the penalty precisely into the corner to make it 2-0 to Mexico.
PENALTY!!! Abidal brings down Barrera in the box and the referee has no hesitation in pointing to the spot. The Mexican had nothing other than a penalty in mind as he burst into the box, but it was the correct decision.
FRUSTRATINGLY INCONSISTENT The Mexican wide man Giovani has excelled at times, but his final ball has been inconsistent and has let down an otherwise impressive performance.
NOTHING FROM THE FRENCH For all their talent, France have asked few questions of the Mexico defence since going behind, and it's all very predictable from a team who are in very real danger of going into the final round of games with progression out of their own hands.
NONE TOO CLEVER Gignac has time and space to surge into the area, but shoots from distance and can only find row Z.
GALLAS CAN'T COPE Giovani has no right to beat the France centre-back to the ball, but shows impressive strength to get a cross in from the by-line. Hernandez didn't expect his team-mate to win the tussle and hadn't gambled on getting into the six-yard box, so the ball shoots across and out of the box.
CHANGE FOR FRANCE The invisible Govou comes off and Valbuena comes on. Henry remains under a woolly hat and rug on the bench.
FRANCE LEFT WIDE OPEN France have to push forward now, but Mexico already looked capable of being a real problem on the break, and that threat will surely only increase.
FAMILY HISTORY Hernandez has repeated the feat of his grandfather Tomas Balcazar, who scored against France at the 1954 World Cup at exactly the same age - 22.
MORE ON THAT GOAL Marquez's vision comes in to play again, sending the substitute clear of the back-line with a gorgeous clipped ball forward. Hernandez was just onside and had the composure to control the ball, dummy around the keeper and tuck home into an empty net. Mexican celebrations are wild and France are in all sorts of trouble now.
GOOAAALLL!!! Hernandez opens the scoring for Mexico!
CHANGE FOR MEXICO 37-year-old Blanco comes on to win his 116th international cap for Mexico, replacing Franco.
SAVED BY THE WHISTLE A corner falls to Gallas in the Mexican box, but the whistle goes to deny the Arsenal defender a chance.
POOR FROM BOTH TEAMS Both Torrado and Giovani sky promising set-piece crossing opportunities miles over the bar.
COULD HAVE BEEN YELLOW Diaby is lucky to escape a booking for a poor challenge on Torrado. The ref has drawn out his cards for less than that, so it is surprising that Diaby doesn't receive a caution.
MEXICAN CHANGE Juarez is replaced by Hernandez, the Manchester United-bound striker.
SHARP SAVE Malouda tests the keeper with a dipping shot that was heading in just under the bar until the keeper intervened.
GROUP A IN THE BALANCE Uruguay's victory yesterday leaves these teams craving a win here to join the South Americans as front-runners to make the last-16. A win for Mexico would mean they could draw with the Uruguayans in their final game and both would go through.
FREE-KICK TO MEXICO France give away a free-kick in a really dangerous area. The Mexicans try a clever routine to put Giovani in, but his cross can't quite pick out a green shirt at the back post.
ANOTHER YELLOW Moreno brings Malouda crashing down out on the touch-line and adds his name to the list in the referee's book.
YELLOW CARD Juarez responds to a challenge with a push, and picks up a booking for his show of petulance.
QUALITY BALL IN France win an early free-kick and Ribery floats in a delightful ball, which is just about dealt with in the Mexican defence.
SECOND HALF Mexico get the second half underway, and Domenech has made a change, bringing on Gignac for Anelka up-front. The latter was pretty non-existent in the opening 45, but it does seem odd to take off one of your leading attacking players when needing a goal.
HALF-TIME The whistle goes to bring an end to a fascinating and frantic goalless first half. There's been plenty of entertainment and all we're really missing is goals, so fingers crossed we see some after the break.
YELLOW CARD Anelka's free-kick is straight into the wall and Mexico break at pace with plenty of numbers. France look in all sorts of trouble, but Toulalan brings the move to an end, blocking off Franco. His challenge earns the midfielder a booking, and he will now miss France's final group game.
VERY SOFT DECISION Ribery goes down under the slightest of pressure and wins a free-kick for France in a dangerous area.
TAME SHOT Anelka has little on, so opts for a shot, but sees it balloon off a defender and loop into the goalkeeper's arms.
THREAT ON THE COUNTER The pace of Giovani and the clever interplay of Franco is a decent combination for Mexico on the break, and they look at their most threatening when surging forward immediately after sustained French pressure, isolating the back-line.
WORTH A GO Giovani, who has caused all sorts of problems for the France defence, holds off his man and has a go from outside of the area, but sends his shot skimming wide of the right post. The final attempt might have lacked quality, but the build-up was excellent.
WHERE ARE YOU FRANCE? France have reached two of the last three World Cup finals, but look nothing like good enough to repeat that feat again in South Africa at this early stage. It is their 13th time at the tournament though, which may explain things... in the mind of the superstitious Domenech in any case.
NOT THE BEST IDEA The ball rebounds to Torrado midway inside the France half, but the midfielder ignores options ahead of him and goes for a speculative shot, which inevitably flies over the bar.
COULD HAVE GONE ANYWHERE Salcido causes danger down the France right again, isolating the full-back and cutting inside to create space for a cross. The delivery is excellent, and Lloris can only punch against the sub Barrera, the ball looping up and wide of the post.
CHANGE FOR MEXICO Barrera comes on to replace the unfortunate Vela.
INJURY CONCERN Vela is down with what looks to be a hamstring injury. The striker has been decent so far in the tournament and it would be a blow for Mexico if he turned out to have picked up a serious injury.
TESTER FOR LLORIS Salcido breaks forward again from full-back and beats the first man to make it into the box. Gallas gives him plenty of time, so the Mexican takes advantage and has a drive at the near post, forcing Lloris to make a smart stop.
VOCAL SUPPORT The Mexican fans have achieved the seemingly impossible, out-doing the vuvuzela orchestra in the volume stakes. It's a terrific atmosphere in Polokwane and credit must go to the superb travelling Mexican support.
PERFECT DELIVERY Toulalan does expertly to turn out wide and curl in a brilliant cross as he does so, almost picking out the lone French shirt of Malouda inside the box.
MALOUDA CAUSING PROBLEMS The Chelsea winger has been the stand-out man for France in the opening stages, and does well again to cut inside and pick out Ribery on the edge of the box. France's talisman tries his best to make space for a shot, but can't break free of a throng of green shirted defenders and the ball is eventually cleared.
INTO THE WALL Giovani lines up a free-kick from distance, but fires it straight into the wall.
WIDE OF THE POST Salcido bursts forward from left-back, as he so often does, but just doesn't quite catch his shot and skews it wide of the far post. He was afforded a lot of time and will have no hesitation in getting forward again if the France midfield is going to be that welcoming.
SLACK MARKING AT THE BACK Lloris' punt forward makes it all the way through to Malouda behind the centre-backs. Unfortunately for the French it is just out of the reach of the Chelsea man, otherwise he would have been in on the keeper. Mexico switched off completely there and were fortunate to get a let-off.
OPEN GAME SO FAR Both teams are causing their opposing defence all sorts of problems, and it's been fascinating to watch in the opening quarter of an hour.
CLEVER FRENCH ROUTINE The French roll out a training ground routine from a free-kick. Malouda picks out Anelka on the edge of the box, whose ball around the corner finds Ribery. The Bayern man is forced wider than he would have liked, but could have found anyone with a driven cross that skimmed past the keeper and out the other side of the box.
KEEP IT DOWN! Salcido's well-weighted pass picks out Franco on the edge of the area. The striker does well to turn his man on the edge of the area, but - like so many players before him in this tournament - can't keep the ball down and skies it over the bar.
GOOD AT BOTH ENDS Malouda - who was inexplicably left out of France's first starting line-up - has looked decent in the final third, and almost carves out a chance as he jinks into the box. However, his pull-back fails to find a French shirt and the chance goes begging.
FIRST REAL CHANCE Marquez's delightful long chipped pass sends Vela clean through down the inside left channel. He takes a shot on the volley, but struggles to keep it down, and feels the wrath of Giovani and Franco who were in space in the area. Most players would have had a pop there though, although the Arsenal man really should have hit the target.
LIVELY FRONT PAIR The young support pairing of Vela and Giovani are already looking decent on the counter-attack, and their pace could be a key feature against an ageing French defensive pairing.
OFFICIALS LOOKING NERVY Tonight's referee - Khalil Al Ghamdi of Saudi Arabia - appears flustered and is struggling to keep a lid on a game that has been simmering in the opening minutes. Let's hope he regains his composure before he makes a more serious error.
YELLOW CARD It's an astonishing decision as Franco is booked for attempting to prevent a French free-kick when they were taking it from completely the wrong place. That is a soft booking to say the least!
OFF THE POST AND OFFSIDE Vela finds Giovani in a north London connection for Mexico, and the latter's drive cannons back off the far upright. However, Arsenal's striker delayed his pass, meaning that the Spurs man (on loan at Galatasaray) was unable to stay onside.
DECENT CROWD It's not the biggest ground at this World Cup, but it is good to see a capacity crowd - something that has been disappointingly rare in recent games.
KICK-OFF France get the game underway in Polokwane.
THE ANTHEMS The teams emerge from the tunnel and out onto the pristine grass of the Peter Mokaba Stadium. Two of the better anthems to be heard at this tournament are subsequently belted out with some gusto.
THE LINE-UPS ARE IN If reports are to be believed, then the French squad is in disarray. The decision to withdraw the talented Gourcuff rather than disappointing Govou for Malouda suggests that speculation may not be that wide of the mark. Anelka starts up-front again, but Ribery will play in the centre of a supporting three as Domenech returns to his favoured line-up. Mexico keep faith in the starting XI that looked so lively in the opening half against South Africa.
EARLY TEAM NEWS Domenech is expected to revert to his preferred 4-2-3-1 system after employing a 4-3-3 formation in the dismal goalless draw against Uruguay, with Henry a possible new face. Mexico have no fresh injury concerns, but could have a change at the back after a noticeably nervy performance by keeper Perez in the tournament opener.
PREVIEW France were poor in their opening day draw with Uruguay and stand a very real chance of failing to beat a talented Mexico side. Marquez, Vela, Giovani and company showed some flashes of brilliance against the hosts South Africa, and really should have wiped the floor with Bafana Bafana in an opening 45 minutes that oozed class. Well-organised with a good shape and threat out wide, the Mexicans look a far better unit that disjointed French team that still seem out of sync with coach Domenech.