22/06/2010 Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein Ref: Oscar Ruiz (COL) Att: 39415
Starting Line up
France: 1-Hugo Lloris; 2-Bacary Sagna, 5-William Gallas, 17-Sebastien Squillaci, 22-Gael Clichy; 18-Alou Diarra (Govou, 82), 19-Abou Diaby (Y), 8-Yoan Gourcuff (R), 7-Franck Ribery; 11-Andre-Pierre Gignac (Malouda, 46), 9-Djibril Cisse (Henry, 55).
South Africa: 1-Moeneeb Josephs; 5-Anele Ngcongoa (Gaxa, 55), 20-Bongani Khumalo, 4-Aaron Mokoena, 3-Tsepo Masilela, 6-MacBeth Sibaya, 23-Thanduyise Khuboni (Modise, 78), 10-Steven Pienaar, 8-Siphiwe Tshabalala, 9-Katlego Mphela, 17-Bernard Parker (Nomvethe, 68).
France were in total disarray prior to crunch game against South Africa. Anelka sent back to France, players on strike and rift between squad and French FA meant they weren't ready to play any sort of match, even it was the team that well below in FIFA ranking. South Africa, on the other hand, had their pride on stake, after losing against Uruguay and fired up to play against this dispirited side.
At the start of match, France were much more brighter side. With Yoann Gourcuff in correction position, they seemed to move ball rather well, considering not training before the match. But the deadlock broke, when French defence collapsed once again and it was Bongani Khumalo with header that put Bafana Bafana ahead. France's night then went bad to worse as Gourcuff was harshly sent off by using his arm. Replay showed no malice.
Minutes later, in came second goal. French defence was all over the place and Katlego Mphela benefited from it. 2-0 and it was Au Revoir to their twelve years of wonderful era of so-called Art Soccer. Franck Ribery had late chance to put one back before the interval but his shot was far too high. HT: 2-0
After knowing Mexico was losing against Uruguay, South Africa started the second half with more attack-minded and it almost got paid when Mphela found himself unmarked in French penalty box but his shot only hit top of bar. Since then, South Africa seemed to lose their concentration and introduction of Florent Malouda in the second half livened up France a bit and it was him who ended their dream of qualifying in 70th minute when he scored in front of empty net. Although South Africa continued to work hard to find another goal, in the end they lacked quality to find another one. Sad ending for the host nation. FT: 2-1