After a chaotic week-end, France want to set their minds on the pitch. Unfortunately for Les Bleus, it was not too be after a terrible start, darkened even more by two goals and a red card within the first half. It’s all over for Raymond Domenech and his men. Thank God!
After a pathetic display both on and off the field, it was time to put out France out of its misery. Les Bleus’ fans can only thank the Bafana Bafana for their display and kindness of heart in trashing Raymond Domenech’s men 2-1.
“It always seems impossible until it is done!”, said Mandela. To reach the second round of THEIR own World Cup, the South Africans needed to put four goals past France’s Hugo Lloris. Crisis-ravaged France’s coach Raymond Domenech had warned : “I will try to put together the best possible team so that physically and psychologically we will have players who will be able to overcome this very difficult experience, which is extremely exhausting for everybody. The reputation of the French team is at stake over this next match and from a sporting point of view our reputation will either be tarnished or not.”
Too bad. The French did show some intent and commitment in the beginning of the game. But all that good will was quickly forgotten when the World Cup hosts opened the scoresheet. 21rst minute : Siphiwe Tshabalala flings over a corner from the left and after Hugo Lloris comes and completely misses it, there is Bongani Khumalo to head it in at the far post.
It got worse for the French 5 minutes later as Yoann Gourcuff was sent off for elbowing MacBeth Sibaya. As Gourcuff walked off the pitch, you could hear France’s dream of an impossible second round qualification shatter. The French bench looked like they cannot believe what is happening.
37th minute : the Bafanas take a two-goal lead when a cross from the South African left hits Abou Diaby and when they get another chance to cross it falls fo Katlego Mphela from three yards to tap into an empty net. The stadium went gone wild as Carlos Alberto Parreira’s are one step closer to booking a ticket for their first World Cup second round qualification ever.
France’s horrible performance from A to Z was only enlightened by a late Florent Malouda goal 20 minutes from the end. For once, Franck Ribéry decided to pass the ball after doing the show. The Chelsea winger was there for the follow up to tap it in.
The South African players look downbeat, but they should be very proud of their efforts today – crisis or no crisis, they have beaten a France team full of very good players.