South Africa beat France, both teams out

08:12, June 23, 2010      

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South Africa's Bernard Parker (R) vies with France's Abou Diaby during a Group A match between France and South Africa at the 2010 World Cup football match in Bloemfontein, South Africa, on June 22, 2010. South Africa won 2-1. (Xinhua/Chen Haitong)

South Africa bowed out of the World Cup in dignity after beating a disorganized French team 2-1 in their last Group A match on Tuesday.

The victory couldn't stop Bafana Bafana from being the first host team ever to fail to reach the World Cup knockout stage while 1998 champions France made an early exit to end their suicidal South Africa trip.

Twenty minutes into action, Bongani Kuhumalo headed a cross home at the far post, putting the hosts ahead.

Six minutes later France were reduced to 10 men as Yoan Gourcuff went up for an aerial challenge with MacBeth Sibaya and caught the South African jaw with his elbow. Colombian referee Oscar Ruiz showed a straight red card.

Djibril Cisse looked devastated, shaking his head in disbelief.

South Africa doubled their lead in the 37th minute as Katlego Mphela tapped home in a goalmouth melee.

At the 51st minute, Siphiwe Tshabalala sent a through ball into the area for Katlego Mphela, who smashed it at the outside of the post.

Moments later Mphela forced a beautiful save from French keeper Oscar Perez.

France showed their teeth in the later part of the second half, threatening the South African goal several times.

Their efforts bore fruit at the 70th minute as Bacary Sagna slid Franck Ribery in on the right of the penalty area and he squared for Florent Malouda to roll into an empty net.

For most of the game and off the pitch, France were a mess. They lost captain Patrice Evra after he was left out of their line-up in the wake of the damaging Nicolas Anelka drama.

Chelsea striker Anelka was kicked out of the team after he insulted coach Raymond Domenech, whose side then refused to train in protest.

South Africa made history by staging Africa's first World Cup and becoming the first hosts to be shut out of the second round.

Uruguay qualified from Group A with seven points and Mexico, the 1-0 losers to Uruguay on Tuesday, made the cut, too.

South Africa came third with four points but less goals, with France last on one draw and two losses.


Special Report: World Cup 2010

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