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Unexpected: Mexico beats France by 2-0 in group stage

Yes, it seems a little improbable when it comes to historical statistics, but France, whom were one of the favorites to come up with the World Cup title are now on the verge of elimination after falling to Mexico, a team which most critics believed was going to make an early exit, as to pass to the next round seemed like a very difficult one with the French and the hosts in the same group.

But Mexico’s coach seems to be a smart man, as he substituted Guillermo Franco with Cuauhtemoc Blanco at minute 62, and also took off Efrain Juarez and replaced it with Javier Hernandez at minute 55, and the two substitutions paid well as both scored the two goals which gave the victory to the Mexicans.

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The match, which took place yesterday, was pretty attractive to the eye, even when both teams showed some inconsistency all along the game, though Mexico was the one with the best scoring chances, as the Frenchmen’s defense was quite vulnerable as it was constantly challenged by young Mexican attackers whom Les Bleus were able to contend during the first half, but then some well played strategy by Mexico’s coach gave them the 2-0 lead for good on the stretch.

This is probably the first World Cup where Mexico looks as a contender, as they are showing to be quite an ambitious team who certainly has the willingness and the courage to commit until the end, as proven by Carlos Salcido and Carlos Vela (who was replaced due an injury and will not play against Uruguay), both of whom never stopped penetrating the rival area.

When France returned from the dressing rooms, they seemed more determined than in the first half, with Florent Malouda forcing a very good save from Oscar Perez, but Javier Aguirre changed the pace of the game by introducing Hernandez and Blanco, whom were well rested and ready to come up with a good performance. Barcelona’s Rafael Marquez was also quite impressive as he always looked for the goal, and even though he did not manage to score, he was vital in the midfield.

Mexico is very close to clinch an spot for the next round, as if they manage to acquire just a single point against Uruguay, they will be one of the sixteen teams that will continue to have an opportunity to win the cup.

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