Nigeria beaten by France in 2014 World Cup
Posted: 30 June 2014 Time: 20:13
Nigeria have been knocked out of the 2014 World Cup after losing 2-0 to France in a last 16 game played at the Estádio Nacional de Brasília on Monday.
The France goals were scored in the second half by Paul Pogba and an own-goal by Joseph Yobo.
France enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening minutes, and a cross from Debuchy in the second minute nearly opened up the Nigerian defence but for a timely tackle from Yobo.
Pogba found Matuidi on the left flank moments later, but the latter's ball to Giroud inside the Nigerian box was again intercepted by Yobo.
Nigeria gradually gained a greater share of the possession as they managed to slow down the pace of the game. But no real chance was created.
Nigeria had a chance from a free-kick in the 13th minute, and the resulting free-kick by Odemwingie found John Mikel Obi who was unable to control his header and allowed Hugo Lloris deal with the threat.
There were however worrying scenes for Ogenyi Onazi who was injured in a tangle with Pogba. But the energetic midfielder made it back to the pitch after attention from the medics.
Nigeria thought they had taken the lead in the 19th minute after Emenike sneaked behind the French defence to put the ball past Lloris. But the ball was ruled out for offside.
Despite dominating proceedings Nigeria were nearly caught napping after Pogba raced forward and caught Oshaniwa flat footed in midfield and found space to race towards the Nigerian goal. But Enyeama's quick reflexes denied the Frenchman.
It remained an end-to-end affair for the rest of the first-half as neither side was able to find a breakthrough.
Nigeria continued to dominate possession upon resumption of the second half, with Moses and Emenike keeping the French defenders busy. But there was however a troubling situation for Nigeria as Ogenyi Onazi came down under a heavy tackle from Blaise Matuidi, and had to be stretchered off in the 56th minute.
Emenike hit a shot from outside the box on the hour mark, but his effort went over the crossbar. Odemwingie hit a shot on target four minutes later to force a lucky save.
Despite looking the more dangerous of the two sides Nigeria seemed to lack ideas in the final third, with crosses and corner kicks falling straight to their opponents who gradually gained more confidence and composure.
Nigeria escaped narrowly as Cabaye's effort came off the cross bar in the 77th minute with Enyeama already beating after making an earlier save. But the French will not be denied two minutes later as Pogba capitalized on an error from an, up till then, impressive Enyeama to give the former World champions the lead.
An own-goal in injury time from Yobo sealed Nigeria's fate, as the African champions were knocked out of the competition.