Mexico downs France in World Cup

Javier Hernandez (right) dribbles past France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to score during Mexico's 2-0 victory on Thursday. Mexico only needs a draw on Tuesday to advance.

POLOKWANE, South Africa --- "Chicharito" was too big for France.


Mexico's Javier Hernandez, whose nickname means "Little Green Pea," emulated his grandfather by a scoring a World Cup goal against France. One major difference: his was in a victory.

Substitutes Hernandez and Cuauhtemoc Blanco each scored in Mexico's 2-0 win over France on Thursday, leaving Mexico needing only a draw to reach the next round.

Hernandez ran onto Rafael Marquez's pass as the France defense stopped, believing Hernandez was offside. He dribbled around goalkeeper Hugo Lloris before guiding the ball home in the 64th minute.

Hernandez's grandfather, Tomas Balcazar, scored for Mexico against France in the 1954 World Cup, in a losing effort.

Blanco put in a penalty kick in the 79th minute after Eric Abidal fouled another substitute, Pablo Barrera.

Mexico next plays Uruguay, which also needs a draw to advance. France has only one point and has to beat South Africa and hope Mexico and Uruguay don't tie their match in final group games.


In Johannesburg, Gonzalo Higuain scored a hat trick and Argentina beat South Korea, putting the South Americans on the brink of qualifying for the next round.

Argentina took the lead in the 17th minute when Park Chu-young deflected in a free kick from Lionel Messi. Higuain made it 2-0 in the 33rd.

In first-half injury time, Lee Chung-yong pounced on a defensive mistake to close the gap, but Higuain's two second-half goals -- in the 76th and 80th minutes -- put the game away.


In Bloemfontein, South Africa, Greece claimed its first World Cup win, beating 10-man Nigeria.

Vassilis Torosidis poked home a loose ball in the 71st minute after a mistake by Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama to make history for Greece, which had lost all four previous World Cup matches.

Nigeria opened the scoring in the 16th minute on Kalu Uche's curling free kick from 35 yards. But the game changed in the 33rd minute when Nigeria's Sani Kaita got a red card for kicking Torosidis.

Dimitris Salpingidis scored the equalizer in the 44th minute.


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