France 2-0 Nigeria: Loss of Concentration Cost Eagles Again

Two goals from set-pieces had Nigeria concede another second round exit, this time against France in the Fifa World Cup.

The Super Eagles have now failed for the third time to go beyond the last 16 as Paul Pogba’s header and Joseph Yobo’s unfortunate own-goal knocked the African champions out in Brasilia.

Emmanuel Emenike thought he had opened scoring for the Super Eagles in the first-half but his effort was ruled for an offside.

Paul Pogba Celebrates Goal Against Nigeria.
Paul Pogba Celebrates Goal Against Nigeria.

Nigeria were left hanging at the mercy of a superb Vincent Enyeama’s save from a Paul Pogba volley, as both sides went into the half-time break without a goal.

Victor Moses cleared Karim Benzema’s shot off the line after the break before Yohan Cabaye’s volley came off the crossbar.

Pogba headed home after Enyeama misjudged a floating corner and flapped it on to the Juventus midfielder.

Vincent Enyeama Flaps Away Valbuerna's Corner For Pogba's Goal. Fifa via Getty Image.
Vincent Enyeama Flaps Away Valbuerna’s Corner For Pogba’s Goal. Fifa via Getty Image.

Yobo spilled Mathieu Valbuena’s cross into his own net on his 100th Nigeria caps.

Having made their third progress into the second round of the World Cup- becoming the African side with the most appearance at this stage of the competition- Nigeria were hoping to become only the fourth African team to reach the quarter-finals after Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana.

Super Eagles Ends Their World Cup 2014 Campaign With a 2-0 Second Round Loss to France. Fifa via Getty Image.
Super Eagles Ends Their World Cup 2014 Campaign With a 2-0 Second Round Loss to France. Fifa via Getty Image.

But several errors in the closing ten minutes of the encounter rubbed the fifth-timers of their ambition, which they must now wait until Russia 2018 to realise.

Joseph Yobo Scores An Own Goal on the Day He Made His 100th International Appearance. Fifa via getty Image.
Joseph Yobo Scores An Own Goal on the Day He Made His 100th International Appearance. Fifa via getty Image.

With Moses and Ahmed Musa threatening the French defense for most part of the game, Nigeria lacked the final touch to seal the tie.

Emenike tapped home a powerful cross from Musa’ cross but the referee’s flag beat the Fenerbahce man to his celebration.

Emenike Tapped Home from Musa's Cross Only To Be Ruled Offside. Fifa via Getty Image.
Emenike Tapped Home from Musa’s Cross Only To Be Ruled Offside. Fifa via Getty Image.

It took Enyeama’s alertness to divert Pogba’s close-range volley in a first-half period which both sides employed a rather too cautious approach.

Nigeria maintained more of the possession before the interval and they got the second-half underway in similar fashion.

But Hugo Lloris was quick to stop Osaze Odemwingie’s low shot soon after the restart.

Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema then combined brilliantly with substitute Antoine Griezmann but saw his shot bounce underneath Enyeama’s body on towards goal, before Moses cleared it off the line.

Karim Benzema's Shot Partially Blocked By Enyeama.
Karim Benzema’s Shot Partially Blocked By Enyeama.

Paul Pogba headed into an empty net after Enyeama came off his lines to clear Valbuena’s corner.

Nigeria pushed for a leveler but were stabbed again when Yobo flicked Valbuena’s low cross into his own net.

France progresses to the last-8 and will meet winners of the match between Germany and Algeria.

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