Mexico star Carlos Vela summed up the significance of Thursday's 2010 FIFA World Cup Group A encounter against France by declaring, "It's kill or be killed."

"People may say we haven't delivered yet but I'm convinced we have what it takes to triumph," said the Arsenal striker, who admits that Mexico could have done better than their opening 1-1 draw with hosts South Africa.

The 21-year-old has been doing his bit to propel Mexican football into the limelight since he first burst on the scene by top-scoring at the 2005 Under-17 World Championship with five goals.

Now, in tandem with fellow striker Giovani Dos Santos, Vela is hoping to fire Mexico into the second phase and three points against the French should clinch that ambition.

Coach Javier Aguirre is placing much of his faith in youth with 22-year-old Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez also in his squad. Hernandez has already hit seven goals in 13 international games and his prominent showings in the Mexican league for Chivas of Guadalajara have earned him a move to Manchester United, whom he will join in July.

People may say we haven't delivered yet but I'm convinced we have what it takes to triumph.

Carlos Vela, Mexico forward

Despite such a wealth of talent in attack it was defender Rafa Marquez of Barcelona whom the Mexicans had to thank for their late equaliser against the South Africans after Siphiwe Tshabalala had put the hosts ahead.

"We want to use that as a basis on which to build and we really are full of desire to go out and make history. Man for man we have a really good squad - but this has to be reflected in our results," says Vela.

Often that has not been the case for Mexico, who made the quarter-finals twice - but only on home soil in 1970 and 1986. Last time out they impressed in the group but then fell to Argentina in the last 16.

With Hernandez hoping to start this time against the French, having begun the tournament on the bench Vela, says that the Mexicans can produce some top-drawer football and live with the best.

"I really want to stress that we are the 'golden generation' of Mexican football," he said. "Having seen the France versus Uruguay match I believe Mexico has a great chance of advancing," says Vela.