Former World Cup winner France were left on the brink of a first-round exit after a 2-0 defeat to Mexico.

France never looked likely to beat Mexico in Polokwane and slumped to defeat after livewire substitute Javier Hernandez scored in the 64th minute and veteran Mexican striker Cuauhtemoc Blanco converted a penalty with 11 minutes left.

The result means Uruguay and Mexico only need to draw in their final Group A game on Tuesday to qualify for the next stage and send France crashing out.

The French, who won on home soil in 1998 and were runners-up four years ago in Germany, have been beset by problems since arriving in South Africa.

The French sports minister criticised the opulence of their training camp and unpopular coach Raymond Domenech and his players have reportedly been at loggerheads.