Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo insists the pressure is on 1998 champions France in Monday’s second round match in Brasilia.
The Super Eagles claimed the only previous meeting between both nations- at full international level- by a lone goal in a friendly played in Saint Etienne in 2009.
However, judging by both teams’ rating and the reviews they’ve each earned on conclusion of the group stages of the World Cup, Yobo believes Nigeria can cause the major upset of the tournament.
“We will do our best to win, but we have nothing to lose,” the Fenerbahce of Turkey defender said. “Many have not given us a chance, but we will do it.”
‘Les Bleus’ have scored four more goals than the African champions- two from set-pieces- after three rounds of matches and have also tried more shots at goal than Nigeria- 39 as against the 26 shots the Eagles have directed on target in Brazil.
Rated 27 places behind the former European champions, Nigeria has defended well than their opponent so far in the tournament, winning 15 tackles as against the 7 managed by Didier Deschamp’s side and has recovered more balls as well.
On the face-off between Hugo Lloris and Vincent Enyeama, an early goal could do fifth-timers, Nigeria, lot good, bearing the fact that the reigning best African export in the French Ligue 1 has put up 17 saves (nine of those which came against Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina); 11 more than the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper.
Yobo, who finally clocks his century if selected against France on Monday, remains Bullish about Nigeria’s chances.
“We are here at the highest stage of football to do our best. We did well against Argentina, one of the tournament favourites, and we can do better against France in the next round,” the ex-Olympique Marseilles defender added.