Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
World Cup Today: Monday
by Paul Kennedy, June 30th, 2014 4:28PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  france, nigeria, world cup 2014

MOST COMMENTED

[BRAZIL 2014] Four years ago, France went home winless and disgraced after a player mutiny. Now, it is headed to the quarterfinals at the 2014 World Cup after a 2-0 win over Nigeria.

The Bleus broke open the game after the introduction of sub Antoine Griezmann late in the second half and won on a header by Paul Pogba and own goal by Nigerian captain Joseph Yobo, both off corner kicks.

With Olivier Giroud up top alongside Karim Benzema, the French created few opportunities for themselves, but that changed after the introduction of Griezmann on the left wing in the 61st minute. Eight minutes later, Victor Moses was called on to clear the ball off the goal line from a shot by Benzema deflected by goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.

In the 76th minute, Yohan Cabaye hit the crossbar from the edge of the area off a corner kick, and two minutes later Pogba looped a header over a maze of players after Enyeama could only tip on Mathieu Valbuena's corner kick. As stoppage time began, the French put the game away off a short corner as Valbuena played the ball into Griezmann and the pass deflected off Yobo into the goal.

"There are no words to describe this," said Pogba, one of the young stars of the French squad. Just last year he was playing on France's U-20 team that the U.S. U-20s tied, 1-1, at the Under-20 World Cup the French eventually won.

"I know there is a whole country behind us," he added. "Scoring that goal really liberated us. I am so happy for the team and all France. I'm speechless."

"To score a goal for your country, especially in an important match like this to get into the World Cup quarterfinals, it's one of the best moments of my life."

For the first hour, Nigeria was very much in the game, and the Super Eagles had their complaints with American referee Mark Geiger. French midfielder Blaise Matuidi was lucky to escape with only a yellow card for a second-half challenge on Ogenyi Onazi that forced the Nigerian midfielder to leave the game.

"The referee is a human being and is bound to make some mistakes," said Nigeria coach Steven Keshi, "but a lot of mistakes were questionable. I'm not happy about it, but he is the alpha and omega and decides what goes on the pitch."

The win continued France's Jekyll-and-Hyde performances at the World Cup. In the last five tournaments, it has been champion, finished last in its group, finished runner-up, finished last in its group and now reached the quarterfinals with 10 goals scored in four games. Overall, the Bleus have been to the World Cup 14 times. They've exited seven times at the first hurdle and advanced at least as far as the final eight on the seven other occasions.

"I am very proud of everything we did from the start," said French coach Didier Deschamps. "There was tension out there. They are a very strong team and there were a lot of duels. But we're through. We're in the quarterfinals and we'll do everything we can to go a stage further."




No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
The Good, the Bad and -- holiday greeting cards    
Europe in a nutshell: A goal of the month volley from Italy, a dive of the ...
Gall and Gooch lead U.S. U-20s past Honduras    
The U.S. under-20 national team wrapped up its trip to San Pedro Sula with a second ...
Brazil captures women's tourney ahead of USA    
Brazil won the Torneio Internacional da Brasilia when it tied the USA, 0-0, before 11,000 fans ...
Diego Lopez returns to Rapids as director of soccer    
Claudio Lopez, who played for Argentina in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, has returned to ...
What They're Saying: Tim Howard    
"I think the MLS have probably made their own problem. New York is owned by Manchester ...
Video Pick: A keeper gaffe for the ages     
The record will show that Lierse defender Arjan Swinkels scored an own goal in Saturday's 6-0 ...
U.S. Abroad: Weekend Hot (and Cold) List    
Brad Guzan made eight saves as 10-man Aston Villa earned a 1-1 tie with Manchester United. ...
Three takeaways from Liverpool-Arsenal    
Energetic attacking and sloppy defending in their 2-2 tie Sunday illustrated why Arsenal and Liverpool are ...
Three takeaways from Club World Cup    
Real Madrid's winning streak is now 22 games following its 2-0 win over San Lorenzo of ...
U.S. U-18s split two-game series with Germany    
The U.S. under-18 men's national team dropped a 3-2 decision to Germany's U-18s to finish with ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives