It may be scant consolation but at least Patrice wasn't culpable on the pitch as France's campaign went from disastrous to deceased - the skipper was omitted from Raymond Domenech's starting eleven after a tumultuous build-up to the fixture.
South Africa scored twice in the first half through Bongali Khumalo and Katlego Mphela and gained the advantage of an extra man when French playmaker Yoann Gourcuff was controversially sent off following an aerial challenge on MacBeth Sibaya. But while Luis Suarez's strike for Uruguay against Mexico in the other game further raised hopes of the host nation going through, Bafana Bafana's 2-1 victory eventually proved to be in vain and they also bow out, on goal difference.
Mexico's qualification, along with Uruguay, meant Javier Hernandez - aka Chicharito - was the first United player to reach the last 16, and his side will face Group B winners Argentina. Chicharito was later joined in the knockout stages by Ji-sung Park, whose South Korea side booked a date with Uruguay following a 2-2 draw with Nigeria.