ROUND OF 16
FRANCE 2-0 NIGERIA
MONDAY 30TH JUNE – BRASILIA
France left it late to step it up against a plucky Nigeria side that gave the Dieder Deschamps’ men the odd scare. However, it was Les Bleus that progressed with a 2-0 win.
The African champions began with great attacking intent and had the French on the back foot, retreating into their own area although, clear cut chances did not materialise. However, the Nigerians will feel hard done by after had a goal ruled out for offside in the 19th minute after Emmanuel Emenike poked home Ahmed Musa’s cross.
The French came back into the game and had the best chance of the half came as a result of driving run from Pogba, exchanging passes with Mathieu Valbuena before seeing his effort tipped over by Enyeama.
After a goal-less first half, Ogenyi Onazi saw his game cut short by injury early in the second half following a poor tackle from Blaise Matuidi, however the disturbance did not deter the Super Eagles who started the better once again.
Peter Odemwingie tested Hugo Lloris from range, but it was France who came closest to taking the lead with just twenty minutes remaining. Karim Benzema ran at the Nigerians and played a one-two with substitute Antoine Griezmann, before seeing his initial shot saved by a combination of Enyeama and then Victor Moses clearing off the line.
Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba scored with a late header to finally break Nigeria’s stubborn resistance and a Joseph Yobo own-goal as cemented the win.
Resilient goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama had just made a superb save to tip over Karim Benzema’s header when, from the ensuing corner, the Lille keeper flapped and Pogba nodded in his first goal of the tournament.
Yobo turned the ball into his own net in stoppage time under pressure from France substitute Antoine Griezmann.
FRANCE: Lloris, Debuchy, Varane, Koscielny, Evra, Pogba, Cabaye, Matuidi, Valbuena (Sissoko 90+2), Giroud (Griezmann 62), Benzema.
GOALS: Pogba 79, Yobo OG 90+2.
BOOKINGS: Matuidi 54.
NIGERIA: Enyeama, Ambrose, Yobo, Omeruo, Oshaniwa, Musa, Onazi (Gabriel 59), Mikel, Moses (Nwofor 89), Emenike, Odemwingie.
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