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Page last updated at 22:09 GMT, Thursday, 17 June 2010 23:09 UK

World Cup 2010: Domenech admits France need miracle

Mexico's Javier Hernandez

Highlights - France 0-2 Mexico

Under-fire France boss Raymond Domenech says his team need a World Cup miracle after their shock 2-0 defeat by Mexico.

Uruguay and Mexico meet in their last group game knowing a point will send them both into the last 16, condemning France to an embarrassing exit.

"We need a miracle now," said Domenech, who will step down after the World Cup.

"When we are forced to rely on others, there's nothing to say. I don't have the words, it's a real disappointment for all the people who believed in us."

France, World Cup winners in 1998 and runners-up four years ago, followed a 0-0 draw with Uruguay in their opening game with another uninspiring display against a classy Mexico side.

Mexico coach Javier Aguirre's personnel changes proved inspirational, with all three substitutes involved in the second-half goals.

Javi Hernandez scored the first after breaking the offside trap and rounding the keeper, while Pablo Barrera was tripped to allow Cuauhtemoc Blanco to seal the win from the spot.

Javier Hernandez

Hernandez gives Mexico a 1-0 lead

Domenech, meanwhile, replaced the ineffectual Nicolas Anelka with Andre-Pierre Gignac at half-time but it failed to revive France.

"If we had the answers then we could have done something about it," said the France coach.

"We had good intentions and desire. I feel just like all of the fans, all the French people. It's more than just a disappointment.

"At the moment, I don't know what I will say to the players."

France play hosts South Africa in their final group game on Tuesday.

"We have to be strong and at least play for our honour. At least we must show something in the last match," added Domenech.

France great Zinedine Zidane, who helped Les Bleus win the World Cup in 1998, criticised Domenech for relegating Yoann Gourcuff to the bench.

"The coach made the decision but I don't agree with it," Zidane told Mexican television station Televisa. "I am disappointed because France did not have a single shot on goal - and that should be the least to be expected."

We feel like a small footballing nation and it hurts... I really thought we had learned the lessons from 2008

Patrice Evra

Chelsea winger Florent Malouda, who was restored to the starting line-up against Mexico after a reported argument with Domenech, echoed his coach's thoughts.

"It's up to us to save our honour. It's a shame to lose like this. It's hard to react, but we can't go out of the World Cup without winning a match."

France captain Patrice Evra said: "I'm disgusted. We owe it to ourselves to beat South Africa. But as for miracles, I don't believe in them too much."

The Manchester United left-back also described the result as a "catastrophe", with France now facing another disappointing tournament exit following their failure at Euro 2008.

"We feel like a small footballing nation and it hurts," added Evra. "I really thought we had learned the lessons from 2008. I didn't see this defeat coming. I'm dejected.

"The problem is that we are not a great team on the pitch."

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see also
Blanc appointed new France boss
02 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team guide: France
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
France Photo Album
28 Apr 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010

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