“Chicharito” was too big for France.
Mexico’s Javier Hernandez, whose nickname means “Little Green Pea,” emulated his grandfather by 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 in Polokwane, South Africa, leaving El Tri needing a draw to reach the next round.
Hernandez ran onto Rafael Marquez’s pass as the France defense stopped, thinking Hernandez was offside. He dribbled around goalkeeper Hugo Lloris before guiding the ball home in the 64th minute.
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Hernandez’s grandfather, Tomas Balcazar, scored for Mexico against France in the 1954 World Cup, but El Tri lost.
“I remembered my grandfather in the locker room,” Hernandez said. “I haven’t spoken to my family yet, they’re my main motivation.
“Thank God I could score. More importantly, we could win against a team we hadn’t been able to beat in a long time.”
Blanco put in a penalty kick in the 79th minute after Eric Abidal fouled another substitute, Pablo Barrera.
“We feel a great disappointment and sadness,” France coach Raymond Domenech said. “We struggled. At the moment I really don’t have an explanation for it.”
Mexico next plays Uruguay, which also needs a draw to advance. France, which next meets South Africa, has only one point.
Argentina 4, South Korea 1: Gonzalo Higuain scored a hat trick to lead Argentina past South Korea in Johannesburg.
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 after Nicolas Burdisso passed along a cross from Maxi Rodriguez.
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.
Argentina leads Group B with six points. South Korea and Greece have three points each.
Greece 2, Nigeria 1: Greece claimed its first World Cup victory, rallying to beat 10-man Nigeria in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
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 its four previous matches.
Nigeria opened the scoring in the 16th minute at Free State Stadium when Kalu Uche’s curling free kick from 35 yards deceived goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas, who moved the wrong way.
But the game changed in the 33rd minute when Nigeria midfielder Sani Kaita received a red card for kicking Torosidis, leaving his side with 10 players.
Striker Dimitris Salpingidis equalized in the 44th minute with a deflected shot before Torosidis’ winner.