• Since Zinedine Zidane's retirement France have failed to win their five matches at international tournaments
• South Africa's 3-0 defeat by Uruguay was the largest ever suffered by a host nation in the first round of the World Cup
• Nicolas Anelka has scored just once in his 15 appearances at international tournaments – against South Korea at the 2001 Confederations Cup
• Carlos Alberto Parreira has failed to win any of his 10 World Cup matches with the four nations he has managed at the finals apart from Brazil – Kuwait in 1982, UAE in 1990, Saudi Arabia in 1998 and South Africa in 2010
• France have been eliminated in the first round in three of their four previous World Cup participations outside Europe (Uruguay 1930, Argentina 1978 and Japan & South Korea 2002)
Teams: France: Lloris, Sagna, Gallas, Squillaci, Clichy, Diarra,Diaby, Gignac, Gourcuff, Ribery, Cisse. Subs: Mandanda, Abidal,Reveillere, Planus, Govou, Henry, Evra, Malouda, Valbuena.
South Africa: Josephs, Ngcongca, Mokoena, Khumalo, Masilela,Pienaar, Sibaya, Khuboni, Tshabalala, Mphela, Parker. Subs: Walters, Gaxa, Davids, Modise, Letsholonyane, Booth, Thwala,Nomvethe, Moriri, Sangweni.
Referee: Julian Oscar Ruiz Acosta (Colombia)
Hello. Gregg Roughley here. I'm afraid Paul Doyle hasn't arrived yet – blame London transport. So, in the meantime I'll try to keep you posted.
2.56pm: The teams have just sauntered out onto the pitch to that familiar-sounding entrance music. I'm sure it was used for the end credits in one of those godawful new Star Wars films. And, I must confess, I watched the first one. Dreadful!
Speaking of dreadful. How will France fare today? They can still qualify. That would be bizarre after all the turmoil wouldn't it?
Ah, Paul is here. I will deliver you into his very capable hands in just a minute. The vuvuzelas are at full volume.
1 min: Apparently France could only get 10 players together for their team photo before the match. Ah French unity eh?
3 min: Tshabalala dinks a ball into Mphela on the penalty spot. He kills it on his chest but then trods on it, allowing it to run out of play.
4 min: Diabolical finish from Gignac, who is in the starting line-up today instead of Henry. Gourcuff worked some wizardry to tee him up, but with a clear sight of goal from 12 yards out he sent a soft sidefooter straight at the keeper.
5 min: Gourcuff's corner is nutted clear. But Les Bleus have started brightly. Might Domenech have the last laugh yet? I'll wager not. He'll find another way to make a fool of himself regardless of the outcome of today's matches.
7 min: South Africa can't get the ball, and not because Ribery has put it under his arm and stomped off home in protest at not being allowed play in every position at once. "Late arrival, Paul?" snorts Bruce Beaton. "Or an lame attempt to show up the French team's refusal to go to training? Anelka's gone - get over it." Firstly, I wasn't late. I was bang on time. Secondly, London tubes are running slower than normal "due to the hot weather", apparently. Thirdly an lame attempt. Pahahahahaha!
10 min: Cisse - Djibril soddin' Cisse! - nods the ball at the keeper from 15 yards.
12 min: Sagna snuffs out South Africa's first attack of the match, winning a corner kick. In other news, thank you for all your emails so far. If you try to restrict them to, say, 70 words I might actually read them. The average length so far is about 600, which suggests this French farce has got you all quite exercised. It was all inevitable if you ask me, the French Federation's cocks coming home to roost following their refusal to replace Domenech after Euro 2008. Also, know that I didn't put the caption on the above photo - I have no sympathy whatsoever for Domenech. Agreeing to read out the players' grievance - rather than instructing one of them to summon the ball to do it himself - was the crowning indignity of his ignominious reign.
14 min: Diaby slips a ball into the channel for Cisse to chase. He does so, but the keeper hurtles off his line to get to it first.
16 min: A token shot from Sibaya flies way, way wide.
GOAL! South Africa 1-0 France (Khumalo 19) How low can the French go? They've gifted the hosts an opening goal by leaving the giant Khumalo unmarked from a corner. Lloris compounded that folly by missing Tshabalala's delivery, and Khuamlo did the rest, heading powerfully into the net. Le fiasco continues!
22 min: Another corner for South Africa. Tasbalala aims for Khumalo again, and Lloris stays on his line. Squillaci heads clear.
24 min: The French are reeling pathetically! Mphela has just slalomed past three defenders before firing a low shot just wide from the edge of the area.
GOURCUFF SENT OFF! There was mass confusion in Bloemfontein at the moment as the ref appeared to show the red to Cisse for attempting an overhead kick and catching the defender in the chest. The striker, utterly aghast, reacted furiously ... and then Gourcuff trudged off in his place. Extensive scrutiny of replays suggests Gourcuff may have caught Sibaya with his elbow when jumping for the ball.
29 min: As the shock waves of France's latest mishap continue to reverberate around the stadium, the camera pans to Domenech, who has that familar look of inscrutability about him. It's a look he studiously cultivates, designed, no doubt, to give him an air of mystery and superiority. But really all it means, of course, is that he hasn't a clue what to do.
31 min: Freekick to South Africa precisely 29 metres from goal, a little to the right. Tshabalala curls it over. "I just got this email from a German colleague," announces Justin Steed. "The subject line was 'Official FIFA schedule'. Tue.: France vs. South Africa in Mangaung. Wed: England vs. Slovenia in Port Elizabeth. Thurs: England vs. France at Airport Who said the Germans weren't funny? Oh."
33 min: France are so ragged it's as if they're trying to live up to their new nickname of Les Miserables. Pienaar was left free on the edge of the box and could have punished the battered Bleus, but didn't: his attempted pass to Mphela was awry.
35 min: South Africa are dominant. A better team would be three up against this French rabble by now. Tshabala has just headed high and wide from another presentable opportunity.
GOAL! South Africa 2-0 France (Mphela 36) A deserved second for the only team on the pitch. Comical French defender played it part - Diaby shanked the ball the wrong way when attempting to clear, enabling an umfana to cross towards Mphela. Clichy appeared to intercept but then the ball became entwined between his legs and Mphela took advantage to bundle it into the net. The striker chases after it to retrieve and races to plonk it back down on the penalty spot and urges French to take their kick-off quickly. They want more goals. It's humiliating for France.
39 min: Excellent save by Josephs. Gallas missed Ribery's freekick from the right but that could have confused the keeper. Not so. He reacted smartly to tip it way with the distal phalanx of the middle finger of his left hand, I believe.
41 min: Mphela lets fly from 25 yards, forcing Lloris to dive low to his right and tip it behind for a corner. "In the spirit of the great French philosophers, can I ask, do you see 'cucumber' as an object or a situation?" spoofs Darren Ford. "I only ask because, working in a sixth form college as i do, a student has just handed me an ineptly constructed questionnaire which appears to pose that very existential conundrum. And in case you were wondering, i answered, 'neither - i see it as an opportunity.'"
43 min: A goal for Uruguay in the other game means that two more goals for the Bafana Bafana or Urugay will send the hosts through. Cue excited blasts on the vuvuzelas from all in Mangaung. Then again, those blasts have been incessant since the start of the gama. "There were cheers in my office in Clermont Ferrand as South Africa scored!" gasps Damian Walsh. "And many fulsome apologies to Irish readers: 'Ireland should be there instead of us'. The mood in France is incredible - I hope the team take the hint and fly directly to Devil's Island until this sorry affair id forgotten. As for Dominech, the French are petitionning Judas Iscariot to move over a bit in the Devil's jaws to give a bit of space down in the seventh circle for the worst national manager of all time."
45 min: Ribery and Gignac attempt to pick a way through the South African defence but fail. "France playing, starting even, with Cissé as central forward in the year 2010 is quite ridiculous," foams Erik Dahibak. "It would be like if England were playing Emile Hes... Oh, wait a minute!"
Half-time: An utterly preposterous period of play comes to an end, with France in a worse state than they were before it. That, in fairness, is some achievement. What thrills are still in store for us? And how many players will refuse to come out for the second half or be frogmarched straight to the airport for attacking their manager? You don't want to miss this.
Half-time entertainment: "As an Irishman, I'm starting to think that this self-destructing French team is providing me with more joy than Ireland's inevitable defeat in the last 16 would have," chortles Rowan Higgs. Last 16, are you sure?
"For your French philosopher with the cucumber," begins P Watson. "If it were properly preserved in vinegar and dill, it could be a pickle ... which is both an object and a situation."
"I would pay a lot of money/take my chances with the authorities to be in the French dressing room right now," says Tom Britten. "Wouldn't say anything. Just witnessing it would be enough. My money's on Gallas sat in the middle arms folded on the floor in a huff. Larry David Domenech clockwatching and not much eye contact."
46 min: We have resumption. I can confirm that 10 French players did, in fact, emerge from the dressing room. In body, if not in spirit.
48 min: Diaby feints to deceive a South African ... and in doing so lets the ball run out of play. Top trickery there.
49 min: Parker tonks in a snap-shot from 25 yards. Lloris holds, then kicks upfield to Malouda, who, I now learn, came on at half-time for the appalling Gignac.
50 min: Oooohhh! Tshabalala dissected the French defence with an astute ball behind Sagna, and Mphela whacked it first time past the keeper ... and out off the crossbar!
52 min: Thierry Henry is about to come on to lend his team-mates a hand. "I'd like to say that as a more modern, mature, civilised and cosmopolitan Ireland, we can graciously extend our condolences to our French brethren, knowing that all that went before is water under the bridge and to offer them our support in their darkest hour," drools Dara Ryder. "But I'd fibbing. Boy, I'm enjoying this. With this twisted, bitter and deranged joy across my face i must look like a Francis Bacon painting."
53 min: Cisse curls a shot over the bar from 22 yards. And on that note, he's replaced by Henry.
55 min: South Africa sub: Ngcongca off, Gaxa on. "Excellent - Henry on, rejoices Tony Little. "Just time for him to try to con the ref for a penalty - be spotted and sent off with 30 minutes to go. Can it get any better?" Maybe ... South Africa are on the attack again ...
57 min: Fine effort from Mphela, who thunders one towards the top corner. But Lloris spreads himself and pushes behind for another corner, which is cleared as far as Pienaar at the edge of the area. He spanks it first time towards goal but it's unwittingly blocked by a team-mate.
58 min: Foolish from Ribery! He did well to scurry his way into the box and had Henry baying for a pass in splendid isolation to his right. If he'd provided the ball, Henry would have had an open goal. But he elected to shoot, and scooped a woeful effort into the stands.
60 min: Ribery robs Gaxa and hurtles towards the South African box, but Sibaya retreats to take the ball back and initiate a smart counter-attack, which is eventually snuffed out by Clichy in the French box. "Surely a cucumber is neither an object nor a situation, but a state of mind?" quibbles Joe Meredith. "As in, 'cool as' or, if you like, the polar opposite of France this tournament."
62 min: Mphela goes close yet again. He hared past Clichy on the left to latch on the a lovely pass from Parker but Lloris charged out to pester him and Mphela shot into the sidenetting.
64 min: Malouda dinks the ball through to Henry, who, would you believe, controls it with his hand. But the ref didn't spot it and the striker is allowed to carry on. The time justice prevails and he fluthers his shot wide. "Can the Irish please stop with the whingeing?" fumes Sandy Oranje, which may or may not be a nod de plume of Roy Keane. "They couldn't beat a team over two legs that has lost to China, Mexico and now South Africa. If they had played any other team in that playoff, they wouldn't even had made it to extra time."
66 min: Pienaar brings a comfortable save from Lloris with a daisy-cutter from distance.
68 min: South African substitution: Parker off, Nomvethe on. "You have to think the South Africans are wondering: 'why is Lloris putting in an effort when no one else is?'" blares Mark Schlink.
GOAL! South Africa 2-1 France (Malouda 70) It looks like France's last act of this World Cup will be to poop the hosts party. Sagna split their defence with a fine ball and Ribery, unlike the last time he found himself in this position, drew the keeper before passing to a better-placed team-mate, leaving Malouda to roll the ball into the unguarded net.
71 min: Khumalo narrowly fails to connect with a South African freekick and then France rip down the other end, Ribery wriggling this way and that before being dispossessed, on the grounds of decency as much as anything else.
73 min: Nomvethe collapses in the French box, triggering desperate, and unfounded, calls for a penalty. The ref resists.
75 min: In the paraphrased words of Sabrina, The Boys are still looking for a good time. And France momentarily seemed re-inclined to help them, allowing Nomvethe to amble all the way into their box. But Lloris came out to intervene again.
77 min: South Africa continue to embroider the match with lots of pretty passing but despite their possession they have been unable to penetrate the French defence over the last few minutes.
78 min: South Africa change: Modise on, Khuboni off.
80 min: Tshabalala sends a tired-looking shot high and wide. "Five pounds on Domenech announcing his presidential campaign in the post-game interview," spurts Ted E.
82 min: Henry sends a laughable shot into the stands. Speaking of laughable, here comes a French substitution: Diarra off .... Govou on! That's one heck of a cavalry.
83 min: Mphela pings a cross-field ball at Nomvethe, who seeks to chest the ball past Sagna and chase. A decent idea, poorly executed.
85 min: After much South African pressing around the French box, Mphela loses control of the ball, and it trickles out for a throw-in. They're looking quite jaded now, the hosts. "I was at a festival in France over the weekend and they showed the France Mexico game on a big screen and boy were they angry, Jack Duncton. "Though no less than those of us who had to watch the shower the night after. Can't help thinking that for all we laugh at them now the same could so easily happen tomorrow. I'll give it to the French at least they are going out in high drama, is that better than meekly tumbling out whilst keep on uttering the rubbish that 'they can beat anyone on their day'. Which day would this be then?" Yes, yes, but before they leave this tournament can we take a moment to also mock the French for another thing: their hideous jerseys? They appear to have a dark blue sports-bra woven into 'em.
87 min: France taking the ball into the corner: it seems that, determined to make themselves even more unpopular, they're trying to run the clock down now. In a way, you've got to admire their contrariness.
89 min: Malouda scampers through the middle and knocks the ball wide to Sagna, whose cross is cleared.
90 min: There will be three more minutes of French agony before their position at the bottom of Group A is confirmed.
90+1 min: Modise clobbers a decent shot into the sidenetting from a tough angle, 20 yards out. "Domench for Liverpool!" yelps Max Pathan.
90+2 min: A terrific save by Lloris denied Tshabalala, the game's best player. The keeper stood up strong to turn away the striker's ferocious shot from 10 yards. But for Lloris, South Africa might have reached the next round.
Full-time: A deserved victory for the spirited hosts, but that's not enough to keep them in the competition. They can go out with their heads held high, however. France, on the other hand, could not have found a more ignominious way to exit. They finished bottom of Group A in a manner that makes them the laughing stock of the footballing world. What's more, according to ITV, Domench refused to shake hands with Parreira at the end of the game. He really is a petty, silly man.
This is not a news report and may contain views expressed by the author which are not supported by GNM.