World Cup Player Ratings: France 1-2 South Africa

Bafana Bafana were the latest team to put les Bleus in their place, and here's how all the individual players fared.

Lloris – 5.5 -
Will be remembered for the gross and uncharacteristic error that led to South Africa's opening goal. Came for a corner, but got nowhere near it, and Bafana were ahead. Made several fine saves in the second half, but the blunder was irreversible.

Sagna – 5.5 -
Tried to get down the right flank to offer additional attacking support, but France were really up against it and the Arsenal man’s effect was limited. Was exposed defensively at times, though he at least improved as the match more on.

Gallas – 5 -
It’s been a difficult World Cup for Gallas, and things didn’t get any easier for him here. Found life tough against the quick and powerful Mphela when at home in the back four and at the other end missed getting a touch on a Ribery free kick that might have brought his side level.

Squillaci – 6 -
Strong in the air, Squillaci is the man that many in France have wanted to see in the heart of the defense from the start of this tournament. Certainly didn’t have an easy shot of things, but stuck ruggedly by his task.

Clichy – 5.5 -
In for axed captain Patrice Evra, who spent the afternoon sulking on the bench, the third Arsenal member in the back four was not at his best. The left-back’s decision making was a little questionable at times and he was somewhat sloppy in possession when pushing forward. Did improve after the break, but was still stretched by Mphela.

Diarra – 5.5 -
Captain for the day, circumstances worked against the Girondins de Bordeaux star. When he tracked back well to tackle Pienaar, South Africa scored from the ensuing corner kick. Les Bleus were ultimately overrun in the centre of the pitch.

Diaby – 6 -
Looked bright in the early stages of the game, pushing forward and showing his running strength. Out-jumped for the opening goal, it was largely downhill from there. Struggled to cope as Bafana turned the screw on les Bleus but became more prominent again after the break.

Gignac – 5.5 -
Missed a fine early chance and looked like a striker who hasn’t scored a number of goals this season. No real surprise he was substituted at half-time as he didn’t produce enough.

Gourcuff – 6 –
Sent-off, but the decision to dismiss the Girondins de Bordeaux player was extremely harsh. The midfielder had shown enough in the early stages of the game to suggest that he would pose a threat, delivering well from set pieces and passing incisively.

Ribery – 6 - Continues to be a pale shadow of the player who carried France to the World Cup. Couldn’t impose himself on the game once les Bleus had fallen behind, despite the onus being on the Bayern Munich star to do just that. Finally had a telling influence when he created Malouda’s goal – France’s only strike of South Africa 2010.

Cisse – 6 -
Worked hard and clearly cared for the cause, the Panathinaikos forward showed fine pace, but was rarely allowed into areas where he could do serious damage. One excellent ball into the box in the first half was wasted due to his team-mates failing to gamble. A second half snapshot went over before he was replaced.


Malouda – 7 -
Came on at half-time. Wasn’t in the game initially, but at least found the net late on.

Henry – 5.5 -
Probably the great striker’s final international appearance, and it was not one to savor.

Govou – n/a –
Given less than ten minutes at the end.


Josephs – 6.5 -
He had very little to do over the course of the game. Tipped away a Franck Ribery free kick late in the first period, making the most of what was simply a good reaction stop. Could do nothing about France’s goal.

Ngcongca – 7.5 -
Excellent on the right hand side of the South African defence. Solid at the back for the most part, the Genk player showed a fine appetite to attack. Comfortable in possession, he also delivered some good crosses. Unfortunate to have to go off injured.

Mokoena – 7 -
Essentially the rock the defense was built around. The experienced Portsmouth man was solid and uncompromising, not giving his opponents an inch, despite being beating in a handful of foot races. Was at fault for the French goal, playing Ribery onside.

Khumalo – 7.5 -
Scored the opening goal, though he was rather presented with it by les Bleus. Strong at the back and threatening in the opposing penalty box, Carlos Alberto Pereira couldn’t really have asked for more from the defender.

Masilela – 7 -
Shuttled down the left flank impressively, particularly towards the end of the second half, when South Africa were using their man advantage superbly by stretching their opponents at every given opportunity. Not nearly as prominent in that sense after the interval, and that cost his side.

Pienaar – 7.5 -
Has been criticized in this tournament and seemed on course for another mediocre showing in the opening 15 minutes. When he started to play, so did South Africa. Kept things going after the break, though he did look tired towards the end.

Sibaya – 7 -
Supported Pienaar ably in the center of the pitch. Was largely charged with sitting in front of the back four, but he did break forward occasionally, shooting over the top of the crossbar from distance in the early stages of the game. Replaced when more attacking players were required.

Khuboni – 7 -
Active in the center of the park, the midfielder rarely wasted a pass, completing an impressive 42 of 50 attempts. Wasn’t especially adventurous in his play, but that was not his role, and he was ultimately replaced with ten minutes remaining.

Tshabalala – 8 -
Made a name for himself in the tournament’s opening game with a spectacular goal, but enhanced his reputation in this encounter with a series of astute and unselfish passes. Nearly played Mphela in on several occasions and had a couple of good efforts himself.

Parker – 6.5 -
Was rather pushed into the shadows by several of his team-mates, but nevertheless gave a very sound account of himself. Played in a floating role behind Mphela and linked play nicely at times, though he might have been a little more active

Mphela – 7.5 -
Proved to be a massive handful for the French defenders. A strong and powerful runner, he got the second goal of the game, but he also missed a whole series of second half chances that might just have put them into the last 16.


Gaxa – 6.5
- Didn’t enjoy the same influence on the game as Ngcongca, though he was by no means poor.

Nomvethe – 6 -
The veteran forward struggled to get a kick and was in truth played out of the game by the French defence.

Modise – n/a –
Not given long enough to make a real impact.

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