[www.inewsguyana.com] – A late Paul Pogba header and an own goal from Joseph Yobo saw France to a 2-0 win over Nigeria and a place in the World Cup quarter-finals.
Didier Deschamps’ side created the better of the chances throughout an evenly-matched encounter and was able to flex their international muscles when required to get over the line.
Nigeria had more than held their own up until the 79th minute when an error of judgement from goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama saw him flap at a set-piece and allow the ball to drop kindly for Pogba to nod into an empty net.
France then put the result beyond doubt in the first minute of stoppage-time when the lively Mathieu Valbuena wriggled away from a short corner and saw his low cross turned into his own net by an unfortunate Yobo, who was more concerned with preventing Antoine Griezmann from getting a touch.
Les Blues will now face Germany or Algeria in the last eight, while Nigeria is still waiting to grace that particular stage for the first time.
For much of the match, Nigeria keeper Enyeama – who plays his club football in France for Lille – had defied the French but it was his unfortunate blunder that allowed Pogba, the former Manchester United youth player who has made his name at Juventus, the chance to tip the contest in favour of his side.
Until then, Enyeama had been heroic – not least with a brilliant reaction save after Valbuena had set up Pogba for a powerfully-struck volley.
With Enyeama in such form, Deschamps’ France side could not afford to be wasteful and Valbuena’s promptings in midfield looked the best avenue for attack. It was the Marseille midfielder who conjured a neat lay-off into Mathieu Debuchy’s path only for the Newcastle full-back to send his drive wide when a goal looked odds-on.