30 June 2014

Nigeria: Unlucky Nigeria Ousted By France

Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Nigeria's Ahmed Musa provided striker Emmanuel Emenike with a low ball to score, 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.

More on This

Pogba's Late Strikes End Nigeria's W'Cup Dream

Les Bleus are through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup after two second-half goals downed their African opponents… Read more »

Copyright © 2014 allAfrica.com. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.