Cinco De Mayo – Revisiting Mexico against France 2010


The culturally ignorant average American sees Cinco de Mayo as the Mexican version of July 4 and an excuse to eat tacos and burritos. The fact that this year’s Cinco de Mayo falls on “Taco Tuesday” also doesn’t help. For those who do not know, the date celebrates the victory of the Mexican army at the Battle of Puebla against the French in 1862.

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, let’s look back at the Mexican national team’s only victory against France at the 2010 World Cup.

In the second round of Group A matches after tying South Africa – arguably the weakest team in the group – in the opening game, Mexico needed a result. Standing in El Tri’s was powerful France. The French were also desperate for a result after they tied Uruguay in the first game and faced a growing internal problem with the team that would eventually turn into a revolt.

Two super-subs for Mexico would make the difference, a young Javier Hernandez looking for his first World Cup goal and the aging veteran Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

The 2-0 win and Uruguay beating South Africa 3-0 would be enough to send Mexico to the round of 16. Despite the defeat against Uruguay next time, El Tri advanced on goal differential after South Africa beat France 2-1.

The curse of the round of 16 would return to Mexico after a defeat against Argentina and one of the worst blown offside calls in the history of the World Cup. It only gets worse when the recovery workers replay the offside goal in front of the whole stadium. If only VAR had already existed.

El Tri was going to crash with a 3-1 loss to Argentina.

The tournament was not a complete loss, Mexico having accomplished something that no other Concacaf team has ever done: beat France. Mexico and France have faced each other seven times since the 1930 World Cup. In 90 years, the French have won five with a draw. The match in South Africa was the last time the two teams met, giving Mexico bragging rights.

USMNT had a draw against the French only after four games. The two teams met most recently in 2018 before the World Cup, when Julian Green won a 1-1 draw in France in the United States. Fortunately for America, the USWNT can actually get results and has beaten France 18 times.

Enough about the United States, however; today is Mexico Day. Take advantage of the glory of the Mexican World Cup and correct anyone who says that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day.


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