Nigeria: Unlucky Nigeria Ousted By France

Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Nigeria's Ahmed Musa provided striker Emmanuel Emenike with a low ball to score against France, but the goal was disallowed after an offside call which gave the Super Eagles cause to feel aggrieved.

Gutsy Nigeria put in a brave performance but were beaten 2-0 by France in their World Cup second round clash in Brasilia on Monday.

The Super Eagles had their chances in a terrific match that entertained from start to finish, but were undone in the final 11 minutes as the French grabbed a pair of late goals.

Paul Pogba had the European side ahead with a headed goal, before Joseph Yobo, making his 100^th appearance for the side, turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Antoine Griezmann.

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi provided an attacking line-up with a front four of the fit-again Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa, Peter Odemwingie and Emmanuel Emenike

The opening minutes of the game mirrored the positive selections from both coaches as the action from frenetic and chances coming at either end.

Nigeria had the ball in the back of the net as Emenike stabbed home Musa's low ball, the assistant referee raised his flag for offside.

Replays showed the call was marginal and the Super Eagles had reason to feel aggrieved.

At the other end Vincent Enyeama had to be at his brilliant best to keep out a stunning volley from French forward Pogba. The Juventus striker looked disbelieving at how he had not scored.

Nigeria thought they should have had a penalty just before the break as French defender Patrice Evra clearly impeded Odemwingie, but none of the match officials appeared to see what was in plain sight for most of the ground.

Emenike forced French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris into a fine save with the final chance of the first half, while Moses could do nothing with the rebound as the goal stood gaping,

France were fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men early in the second period when Blaise Matuidi's studs-up challenge on Ogenyi Onazi brought a yellow when the colour should have been red.

Karim Benzema thought he had put France ahead after a brilliant one-two with Antoine Griezmann saw him get the better of Enyeama, but not Moses on the line, who hooked the ball to safety.

Yohan Cabaye crashed the ball against the Nigerian bar as the French began to turn the screw.

And the goal they had been threatening final arrived on 79 minutes through Pogba.

Enyeama flapped at a cross and Pogba took advantage of the rare mistake from the Super Eagles keeper to head home.

The result was put beyond doubt in injury0time when Yobo and Griezmann went for the same ball and the veteran Nigeria defender was credited with the last touch into his own goal.

It brings to an end a World Cup that provided just a single win in four for Nigeria, but performances they can be proud of - especially in defeat to Argentina and now France.

The French advance to meet the winner of the tie later on Monday between Germany and Algeria.

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