Polokwane: Embattled France coach Raymond Domenech admitted that his star-studded, crisis-hit team desperately need a World Cup miracle after slumping to a 2-0 defeat to Mexico.
France, the 1998 world champions and 2006 runners-up, were left with just a point from their first two Group A matches yesterday and are three behind Uruguay and Mexico who meet next Tuesday.
France need to beat South Africa in their final game on the same day, and then hope the mathematics of qualification works in their favour.
But the controversial Domenech, who steps down and will be replaced by Laurent Blanc after the World Cup, is not holding out too much hope of his team making the second round.
"We need a miracle," admitted Domenech. "We have to be strong and at least play for our honour. At least we must show something in the last match. When we are forced to rely on others, there`s nothing to say."
Veteran Cuauhtemoc Blanco converted a late penalty to clinch Mexico`s first victory over France after substitute striker, Manchester United-bound Javier Hernandez, had put the Central Americans ahead in the 64th minute.
France, who controversially reached the World Cup finals after Thierry Henry`s handball set up the decisive goal in a play-off win over Ireland, struggled to create any meaningful opportunities against a vibrant Mexican team.
"I don`t have the words, it`s a real disappointment for all of the people and for those who believed in us," added Domenech.
"If we had the answers then we could have done something about it. 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."