Johannesburg, Jun 23: France and South Africa entered the field on Tuesday, Jun 23 hoping to turn their games around and somehow manage to advance. At the end of 90 minutes, both the teams walked off the field with frowns as neither of them qualified for the last 16 despite a decisive win clinched by the hosts.
South Africa beat France 2-1 at Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein in the final Group A clash to ensure France's exit from the 19th FIFA World Cup from the Group stage itself.
But Bafana Bafana players were down on their spirit despite thrashing the former World Cup champs as they were also walking off the scenes of the FIFA World Cup 2010.
The results may have been an all-around disappointment but the match was nothing short of top-class football action.
France began the attack quiet early but South Africa was the first score khas early as 20 minute when Siphiwe Tshabalala carried the ball beyond the outstretched hands of Lloris and was converted to a goal with a header by Khumalo.
The French campaign was hit by a grave loss in the 26th minute when Yoan Gourcuff was shown the red card over and aerial battle with Sibaya.
The 10-men French team was devastated yet again when Katlego Mphela scored the second goal in the first half achieving an impressive two goal lead for the hosts.
The second half was decked by charges from South Africa. However, in the 70th minute France came up from behind and scored one.
Even though the second-half replacement Florent Malouda was the one who landed the goal in the net, the credit should really go to the ace striker Franck Ribery as it was his presence of mind that led him to pass the goal to the Malouda while the goalkeeper was bust covering him and leaving the goal post free.
In the final minutes of the game, both the teams were trying to add more goals to their account. Tshabalala's attempts raised cheers in the crowd but none of them converted into goals.
When the whistle blew, both the teams knew that there were eliminated from the 19th FIFA World Cup. But there was a sense of pride in the South Africa as they walked with their heads held high while France knew that the internal turmoil cost them too dear.