International Sports

World Cup: Day 7

Scores: México 2, France 0 (Grupo A); Greece 2, Nigeria 1 (Grupo B); Argentina 4, Korea Republic 1 (Grupo B).

Goal scorers: M: Javier Hernández (64), Cuauhtémoc Blanco (79).

Match of the day: Polokwane, South Africa - Subs for Mexico, Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Javier "El Chicharito" Hernández, each scored goals for a 2-0 victory over the French contingent in Group A play at Peter Mokaba Stadium in South Africa.

The Mexicans are already celebrating a likely quarterfinal appearance. Although Mexico plays Group A leader Uruguay on Tuesday.

There is a good reason why millions of Mexican fans chanted the nickname of Hernández, "El Chicharito," throughout the qualifying matches. The fanatics knew he could prove himself at the World Cup in South Africa.

"El Chicharito" scored against France in the 64th for a 1-0 lead in today's Group A play in Polokwane, South Africa. Hernández, whose father (Tomás Balcazar) also scored against France in the 1954 World Cup, took a pass from "Rafa" Márquez then against little opposition, easily passed French goalie, Hugo Lloris. The Frenchmen appeared to have let down their defenses, obviously thinking Hernandez was offsides. Only Lloris stood between "El Chicharito" and the net.

México's revered "Temo" Blanco scored the second goal in the 79th minute on a penalty kick. Pablo Barrera was fouled by France's Abidal.

Mexican fans clearly outnumbered the French fanatics in today's crucial match.

México meets Uruguay on Tuesday.

Lineups: México.- Oscar Pérez, Ricardo Osorio, Héctor Moreno, Francisco Javier Rodríguez, Carlos Salcido, Efraín Juárez (Javier Hernández, 54), Rafael Márquez, Gerardo Torrado, Giovanni Dos Santos, Carlos Vela (Pablo Barrera, 31) y Guillermo Franco (Cuauhtémoc Blanco, 62). DT Javier Aguirre. Francia.- Hugo Lloris, Bakary Sagna, William Gallas, Eric Abidal, Patrice Evra, Florent Malouda, Jeremy Toulalan, Abou Diaby, Sidney Govou (Mathieu Valbuena, 64), Franc Ribery y Nicolas Anelka (Andre Pierre Gignac, 46). DT Raymond Domenech.

Quote: "It was difficult match where the team who scored first was going to be the winning team," said México's coach Javier Aguirre.

Friday matches / June 18: Slovenia vs. U.S.A., 7 a.m. (Group C); England vs. Algeria, 11:30 a.m. (Group C); Germany vs. Serbia, 4:30 a.m. (Group D).

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