France secured a quarter-final spot at the FIFA World Cup™ following their 2-0 Second Round victory over Nigeria at the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha in Brasília on Monday. Les Bleus were more fierce in the early exchanges but kept giving away free kicks in dangerous areas. The Super Eagles failed to convert any of their set pieces.
Olivier Giroud was offered some space from outside the box in the 15th minute but sent his shot wide in what could have been France’s first real chance at goal. Emmanuel Emenike found the back of the net in the 18th minute but was ruled offside before Paul Pogba initiated a move forward in the 22nd minute and was at the end of it only to have his superb volley well saved by Vincent Enyeama. Both sides could have led by an irreversible scoreline with their late attempts but poor final touches ensured a 0-0 scoreline at the break.
Ten minutes from the restart Ogenyi Onazi was stretchered off the field. In the 63rd minute Peter Odemwingie created room for a shot but Hugo Lloris was alert to the danger. Six minutes later, substitute Antoine Griezmann linked up with Karim Benzema and the latter had his attempt cleared off the line before Yohan Cabaye hit the cross bar in the 77th minute.
Pogba was finally rewarded for all his efforts in the 79th minute when Enyeama failed to punch the ball away setting up the 21-year old whose header kissed the net. As the West Africans were looking to bounce back, Joseph Yobo sealed victory for Didier Deschamps’ men with a late own goal sending the Nigerians home as the first African team to reach the knockout stages of three FIFA World Cup finals.