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Page last updated at 18:16 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2010 19:16 UK

World Cup 2010: Mexico coach rues missed chances

Javier Aguirre
Aguirre (left) played for Mexico when they hosted the World Cup in 1986

Mexico coach Javier Aguirre admitted that missed chances in their 1-1 draw with South Africa have made qualifying from Group A a much tougher task.

"Both teams go away with a bitter-sweet taste and now we are forced to beat France in our next game," he said.

Mexico dominated the first half but had to rely upon an equaliser from Rafael Marquez with 12 minutes to go after South Africa took a 55th-minute lead.

"We weren't capable of really putting away our chances," added Aguirre.

"The team was confident, but we missed a few chances and things got complicated after they scored. The South African goalkeeper played really well and kept them in the game in the first-half.

The South African goalkeeper played really well and kept them in the game in the first-half

Mexico coach Javier Aguirre

"Their goal changed the match a lot. I wouldn't say we got nervous but a little bit anxious.

"We tried to change our play and we managed to draw but it wasn't enough. We have to praise our opponents."

Aguirre, who is in his second spell as national coach having been in charge for the 2002 World Cup finals, had promised his team would attack from the start - and his players were true to his word.

Winger Giovani Dos Santos was a constant threat in the opening stages as the Mexicans attacked relentlessly, while Arsenal forward Carlos Vela had a 38th-minute effort rightly ruled offside.

South Africa's coach Carlos Alberto Parreira paid tribute to Mexico after the game, calling them the "most daring team in the World Cup".

But that spirit of adventure also proved their undoing as they were caught out at the back when the hosts broke on the counter before Siphiwe Tshabalala's lashed the ball high into the top corner for the tournament's first goal.

Barcelona defender Marquez managed to claw out a late equaliser but, with seconds remaining, Mexico almost threw that away as Bafana Bafana striker Katlego Mphela hit the post after outpacing two defenders.

Mexico play France in their next match in Polokwane on 17 June.

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see also
Parreira says hosts can progress
11 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup day one photos
11 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Who will win the Golden Boot?
10 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team guide: Mexico
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup guide - Mexico
26 May 10 |  World Cup 2010


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