Mexico seeks victory to get a better draw

June 22, 2010

Mexico coach Javier Aguirre wants only positive thoughts going into Tuesday's match with Uruguay.

"If we go out there thinking that we can lose the game, fearful and full of doubt, then we're inviting the loss or we're doubting ourselves," he said. "I've impressed on my players that we have to go out there intending to win."

A win would not only qualify Mexico for the second round but make its route to the quarterfinals much easier, facing either South Korea or Greece in the knockout round. Any other result and Mexico would likely face Argentina, the country that knocked it from the last World Cup in the second round.

No sign of referee: Koman Coulibaly, who disallowed a goal that might have given the U.S. a victory over Slovenia last week, is not on FIFA's next list of officials, which includes Tuesday and Wednesday matches. His absence doesn't exclude him from the tournament, which ends July 11. FIFA said it won't make an announcement on Coulibaly individually.

French soap: The drama around the French team took another improbable turn when coach Raymond Domenech appeared alone at a news conference to say some players may not want to play Tuesday against South Africa.

"It is a possibility," said Domenech, who has endured a hellacious 48 hours that included the expulsion of one player, the resignation of a high-ranking French soccer federation official and a mutiny on the part of the players, who refused to practice Sunday. "I tried to convince the players of the foolishness, their imbecility and the unprecedented stupidity of what they were about to do," Domenech said.

English trouble: Midfielder Frank Lampard sought to quell rumors of a growing insurrection in the English camp by saying the players are solidly behind coach Fabio Capello despite the fact the team could be knocked out in the first round for the first time since 1958. Lampard also denied reports that former captain John Terry had a heated meeting with Capello.

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