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France 2-0 Nigeria



France go through with two late goals.

With 145 goals having already been scored in the tournament the game was set to be another thriller. Before the match, France had already established themselves as real title contenders in the group stages and Nigeria have come far from their draw with Iran in their first match.

Nigeria were the first out of the blocks as they led a first half push. Both sides were sloppy in front of goal but the match remained tense as both sides provided impressive counter-attacking displays. Nigeria threatened and only the offside flag denied a powerful Emmanuel Emenike strike.

Vincent Enyeama, having already been acclaimed as one of the best keepers of the group stage, didn’t struggle to keep out the lacklustre Giroud and an out of sorts Benzema.

It was Giroud substitution for Griezmann that changed the match and revitalised the French. Benzema moved to his favoured central position, Griezmann was a constant threat and the tireless Valbuena delivered cross after cross into the box. It wasn’t long before France broke the dead lock as Paul Pogba exploited an Enyeama error for a brilliant header. France who, by this point, had already taken charge of the game, seemed untouchable from them on and sealed the deal when Joseph Yobo diverted a Valbuena cross into his own net.

If the France team of the last half hour can do well in the competition it was definitely not the case before that. Didier Deschamps though so far unbeaten in all his World Cup matches (8 wins - 2 draws) has to fill the gaps in his defence that allowed Nigeria to test Lloris and most importantly questions have to be raised about Olivier Giroud’s roll in a French attack that was too easily thwarted in the 60 minutes.

They will have to be better organised to beat Germany in the quarter finals.


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