France did well to overcome the stingy Nigerians today. Although Nigeria played well, France overcame them late and scored 2 goals to take it.
France vs Nigeria:
Both sides looked lively, but the Nigerian defence was really stretching to push France out early. France’s first corner came to nothing in the 4th.
Nigeria had France under pressure in the 6th minute, but a fantastic cross from the right wasn’t controlled by Odemwingie.
France surrendered the ball to Nigeria, and they started a 3 on 3, but France defended well and retained possession.
Pogba breaks out in the 12th, but he collides with Onazi and Omeruo. Onazi has picked up a bit of a knock.
Emenike was fouled in the 13th, to the left of the box. The French couldn’t cope with the speed.
Onazi was lying on the ground, and he was stretchered off before Nigeria’s free kick in the 14th.
The free kick was dangerous, but the header back in was caught by Lloris. Onazi came back on.
Matuidi flings into Odemwingie just outside the box again in the 16th. As for the free kick, it is just over from Emenike.
GOAL! IN THE 17TH! The official called offside. A beautiful cross from Musa was tapped into the bottom corner by Emenike, but the linesman called offside.
Valbuena has a beautiful cross to Benzema, who is free because of a high defence line, but he is ruled offside.
WHAT A SAVE BY ENYEAMA! Paul Pogba made a beautiful run and he beat 2 defenders, before playing wide to Valbuena, who had a 1 touch cross before Pogba volleyed. Enyeama reached towards the top right corner and he hit it out for a corner in the 22nd!
France had a dangerous set of play, as Evra crossed from far to the centre. Benzema couldn’t reach it, but it went wide to Debuchy, who strung play to Pogba. Pogba’s final pass in the 35th was too much for Cabaye, and Enyeama claimed it.
Nigeria sent a cross in, but Varane cleared for a corner in the 38th. The corner went wide.
Valbuena set up Debuchy in the 40th, but his shot from perfect position just outside the box went way wide.
A drive from far by Emenike was saved by Lloris, and although Moses was there, the ref called it offside.
Valbuena won a free kick from about 35 yards, and his cross goes to Giroud. The Arsenal man was marked, but he headed up. It went to Valbuena, but the winger was ruled offside.
Half Time: France 0-0 Nigeria
Half Time Report:
Cabaye has really adapted to this holding role, manning the defence and supplying attack, while helping retain possession. He is able to join the defence line when Debuchy or Evra is caught up in the front. In front of Cabaye, Matuidi and Pogba are relentless in running. Valbuena, Pogba and Debuchy from right back are the biggest attacking threats, while Giroud and Benzema are AWOL. As for Nigeria, they have been very dangerous from attack, and other than a couple of errors, they have been solid in defence. The midfield is doing well to get around the French one that keeps splitting them up.
There were no substitutions, but France switched Benzema to the centre and Giroud wide.
Moses broke out in the 47th, but his cross was quickly cleared for a corner by the French defence.
A beautiful cross went in to Emenike, who was offside once again in the 51st. Varane got hurt, but he got up after about 2 minutes.
In the 55th, a Matuidi stud on Onazi earned the PSG box-to-box midfielder a yellow card, and Onazi’s previous injury got aggravated.
Odemwingie takes a corner in the 58th. It was headed away to Mikel, and the Nigerians retained possession. After one more cross, the French retained possession.
Onazi came off for Gabriel in the 59th.
Emenike struck from the top left corner of the box in the 60th, but his shot was well over.
Olivier Giroud wasn’t fast enough for the wing, and in the 62nd, he came off for Griezmann.
A beautiful shot in the 64th was stopped by Lloris. France couldn’t get possession of the ball!
Evra was fouled not too far away from the box in the 66th. The free kick was good, but it went to the Nigerian defender, who made a clearance straight to Benzema in the box. Benzema crossed, but the Nigerian defender claimed it with a scissor clearance.
Musa was picked out wide in the box, but his cross was cleared by Koscielny for a corner in the 69th. The French have had to clear so many crosses today.
BENZEMA! A one-two set him up, but his shot went off Enyeama. It came back to him, and his shot beat the keeper and it was rolling in, but Victor Moses ran onto the line to clear it. That was urgent in the 70th.
Benzema’s strike from far in the 73rd was just wide.
A beautiful play from wide is hit out from Enyeama into the field. France proceeded to win a corner. The corner was well defended to win another corner.
Benzema’s shot was cleared by the Nigerian defender in the 77th. The ball is cleared on the line again, before another shot ricochets of the bar.
BENZEMA! A free kick goes to his head, and he heads it well, but Enyeama hits it out for a corner!
GOAL! IT WAS COMING FOR A WHILE! The French pulled Enyeama out, but Pogba was there to head it in! France 1-0 Nigeria
Griezmann’s beautiful rocket was stopped by Enyeama in the 84th, who hits it out.
Debuchy was injured in the 86th.
Moses was taken off in the 89th.
GAME! France 2-0 Nigeria Antoine Griezmann finishes a fantastic play! It was an own goal by Yobo…
Moussa Sissoko was brought on Valbuena.
Full Time: France 2-0 Nigeria; Goals, Pogba, Yobo (OG); MOTM Enyeama
Best Player Grades out of 10:
Yohan Cabaye- He was amazing in defence, and perfectly comfortable going forward. 7
Blaise Matuidi- He was relentless and tireless in the middle of the park. 7
Paul Pogba- He was dangerous every time he got the ball, and had a Yaya Toure esque performane. 8
Matthieu Valbuena- He was dangerous from the right, making many plays. 7
Vincent Enyeama- Although he made a mistake that lost Nigeria the game, he saved Nigeria more than once in situations where most goalkeepers would lose. 7
That is world class from France to advance. Nigeria left the tournament well, and they definitely exceeded expectations. Later, Germany and Algeria face off.