Brazil 2014 World Cup | France vs. Nigeria

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another day of football. Here, I will be blogging live on this feed about the match between France and Nigeria as it unfolds, and I will also be using BBC Sport to copy over any quotes made by football commentators, plus the pictures, and also add my own thoughts of the match so that all 3 combine together.

France 2-0 Nigeria

 

…and, we have kick off!!! Let’s hope that this first match of the day starts off with a bang, and that there are a lot of good goals scored in the whole 90 minutes of the match.

Neil Johnston: “Le crunch! A strong challenge by Juwon Oshaniwa in the opening seconds as Nigeria show they mean business. France are already building an early head of steam with Paul Pogba and Karim Benzema teasing and tormenting on the edge of Nigeria’s penalty area. Vital interception from Joseph Yobo as France continue their high-voltage start. Olivier Giroud is causing problems inside the African area. Nigeria, in their all green strip, are on the back-foot in these early exchanges.”

Kevin Kilbane: “We are expecting a really attacking and open game here with both sides going for it. I think the counter is key for both sides, but especially Nigeria. They will rely on the pace of Ahmed Musa, Emmanuel Emenike and Peter Odemwingie when they get into the final third.”

Via Text Message

Barry, Somerset: So far all four group winners have progressed into the quarter finals. I expect nothing less from France, Germany, Argentina and Belgium. When did this last happen?

Martin Keown (Former England Defender on Match of the Day): “Brasilia is the best stadium I have been to. The angle of the crowd in the stands to people on the pitch is tremendous and it makes for an excellent atmosphere.”

Former England Captain, Rio Ferdinand: “Karim Benzema will be a deciding factor for me. He is one of the best number nines in world football. He is clinical and somebody who is irresistible when he is on his game. I think the French will have too much for Nigeria.”

Neil Johnston: “Victor Moses is keen to make up for lost time. The Chelsea man missed the defeat to Argentina but is causing problems with his pace as he tries to penetrate the French defence. There’s a huge roar each time a green shirt receives the ball inside the French half. There’s no doubt who the neutrals are supporting.”

Victor Moses
Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Former Wales Midfielder, Robbie Savage: “The temperature is a bit cooler here in Brasilia – it is not as hot as we thought. But with France resting several players for their final group game, I think that gives them a slight advantage. You can see when Giroud controls the ball that Valbuena and Matuidi look to join him – very interesting start from the French. But there’s a lot of space on that Nigerian right-hand side as they look to isolate Evra.”

Neil Johnston: “Oh. Oh. Danger for France. Paul Pogba runs into trouble and gifts Nigeria possession. They attack with pace and power, Yohan Cabaye haules down Emmanuel Emenike. Free-kick to Nigeria in a dangerous position. Peter Odemwingie whips in the set-piece and John Mikel Obi is in a good position but cannot direct his header on target. Nigeria are down to 10 men as Ogenyi Onazi goes off for treatment but returns after a few minutes. African drums are beating. Nigeria will be pleased with the start they have made here.”

Ogenyi Onazi  on a stretcher
Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Adama SB Gimba: Based on how the French play, they will definitely defeat Nigeria.

Abubakar Aliyu: Nigeria do not fear of France. We’ll give them a good thrashing. Up Super Eagles.

DISALLOWED GOAL!!! NOT HAPPY.

 

Disallowed goal
Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©
Disallowed goal
Credit: BBC Sport

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Dave Hawthorne: Patrice Evra is such a weak link for France, just like he was for Manchester United last season, so lazy! Glad we signed Luke Shaw.

Daniel Woodley: Nigeria are a completely different side to what we saw in their first group stage game. Stephen Keshi deserves a lot of credit.

Shohidur Rahman: Manchester United let Paul Pogba go for free. Alex Ferguson then chose Phil Jones over Raphael Varane and Bebe over James Rodriguez. Not great.

Kevin Kilbane: “It was tight, really tight. Great ball in from Ahmed Musa, but good organisation from the France defence there. Patrice Evra could see Emenike was offside and the defence allowed him to be. Good organisation and good decision.”

Robbie Savage: “I think Emenike is half a yard offside – good call from the linesman. Great finish though. Musa is staying really high up the pitch on the left and Odemwingie is doing the same on the right. When Odemwingie drifts inside, that allows right-back Ambrose, who usually plays centre-back for Celtic, so much space down that right-hand side. Nigeria in control of this game.”

Neil Johnston: “Sensational stop by Vincent Enyeama to keep out Paul Pogba’s volley close to the penalty spot. We’ve seen some brilliant saves at this tournament. That was right up there. This match is being played at helter-skelter pace. Another cracker.

BBC World Service football reporter John Bennett in Brasilia: “Incredible atmosphere here. Before realising it was offside, the Brazilian fans cheered that Nigeria goal like it was a goal for Brazil. Amazing how much support the Brazilian fans are giving Nigeria. France must feel like they’re playing away from home. A lot of love for African teams here in Brasilia. They were chanting for Ghana last week.”

Kevin Kilbane: “What a break by Paul Pogba. Struck it well and brilliant save by Vincent Enyeama. He is possibly the best African goalkeeper we have ever seen.”

Vincent Enyeama saves
Credit: BBC Sport

Neil Johnston: “A frenzied passage of play ends in another corner to Nigeria. They have come flying out of the blocks in Brasilia. Those who feared the row over bonus payments would cloud their play can forget it.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Paddy Emmerson: Decent save by Vincent Enyeama but he shouldn’t have been given a chance. A poor finish from the much-praised Paul Pogba.

Neil Johnston: “Temperatures rising on the pitch as the red mist descends over Olivier Girould as he makes contact with John Mikel Obi. Another referee might have taken firm action there. It’s a sign of the growing frustration in the French camp.

Robbie Savage: “It has been a fantastic round of 16 so far and this game is certainly up there with the other matches. It has been end-to-end, attacking, fantastic atmosphere, great colour in the stadium.”

Nigeria fans
Credit: BBC Sport and Robbie Savage ©

Neil Jonston: “”Allez les bleus,” sing 10,000 French fans, attempting to pump their players full of adrenaline. But their voices are drowned out by a stadium full of Nigeria-supporting neutrals. France are seeing plenty of possession but they’re lacking a cutting edge. Thousands of French fans are gathered to watch the game in Paris’s City Hall.”

France supporters waves French flags as they watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup round of 16 football match between France and Nigeria on a giant screen at the Hotel de Ville (City Hall) in Paris
Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Via Text Message

Tim, London: Why is Loic Remy on the bench? I think he’s a lot more technically gifted than Olivier Giroud.

James, Newcastle: Feel France will win this, but Nigeria are looking dangerous on the the counter-attack.

Olivier Giroud
Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Neil Johnston: “Inside the final 10 minutes. Nigeria will be more than pleased with how this is going. France, Paul Pogba’s volley aside, are struggling to seriously test keeper Vincent Enyeama. Another corner to Nigeria. It comes to nothing but Patrice Evra has his hands wrapped around Peter Odemwingie. He is lucky the referee did not see that. Mathieu Debuchy shows why defenders are rarely good at finishing as he slices a great chance wide after the goal opens up for him. France look a shadow of the side that carved open Honduras and Switzerland in the group stage.”

Patrice Evra holds marker
Credit: BBC Sport
Mathieu Debuchy fires wide
Credit: BBC Sport

Robbie Savage: “When the French get the ball wide they try to look for the cutback, but Olivier Giroud has got to get across that front post like we’ve seen him do time and time again for Arsenal.”

Olivier Giroud
Credit: BBC Sport, Robbie Savage and Getty Images ©

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Eyobel Gomini: Nigeria are threatening going forward, but there is too much space behind the back four. If Karim Benzema or Olivier Giroud get a good pass France could be ahead.

Martino Oscar: I think my countryman John Mikel Obi is the worst number 10 player in this World Cup.

HNIC: Mikel will not learn until his sloppiness in midfield allows Nigeria to concede.

Neil Johnston: “Into the final few moments and Emmanuel Emenike forces Hugo Lloris to beat his fierce drive away. The ball falls for Victor Moses but the Chelsea man handles and another chances goes begging.”

Emmanuel Emenike shoots
Credit: BBC Sport

2ND HALF KICK OFF!!! LET’S HOPE THIS SECOND HALF HAS SOME GOOD SIGNS OF SOME GOALS.

Neil Johnston: “Very fortunate escape for Peter Odemwingie as he loses possession to Olivier Giroud on the edge of Nigeria’s penalty area. It’s a poor cross by the France striker though.”

Kevin Kilbane: “Nigeria have been able to go at the French full-backs and get at them, it has been very open but I’d say Nigeria have been causing France problems.”

Neil Johnston: “France are getting stuck in. A heavy challenge by Mathieu Debuchy results in another delay as Juwon Oshaniwa receives treatment before hobbling off. Nigeria are temporarily down to 10 men. Oshaniwa is back on. His return sparks a decent period of play for Nigeria. Victor Moses teases a couple of French defenders on the edge of the area before the ball spins away from him. More frustration for the Super Eagles.”

Juwon Oshaniwa on ground
Credit: BBC Sport

Robbie Savage: “I keep saying it, but when is Didier Deschamps going to make a change? Time after time Nigeria are breaking down the right. It’s just the final ball that needs to be better.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Bola Akinola: If Nigeria can beat France then they can beat Germany or Algeria.

Neil Johnston: “Another heavy French tackle. This time Blaise Matuidi is booked for an ugly late tackle on Ogenyi Onazi who has pain etched all over his face. Onazi has been in the wars this game and is carried off on a stretcher for a second time. Will we see him back? This second half has yet to get going. It’s all stop-start. But it will suit Nigeria. France need to step up. Karim Benzema might be in an unfamiliar wide role, but you can’t argue with his attacking statistics so far in this World Cup…Two of the opening four last-16 ties have gone to extra-time. This is heading in that way too.”

Blaise Matuidi tackle
Credit: BBC Sport
Benzema
Credit: BBC Sport ©

Robbie Savage: “That should have been a red card. It is a leg breaker. Matuidi’s gone in with his studs showing, missed the ball and gone over the ankle. That’s a terrible tackle.”

Neil Johnston: “Onazi does not re-appear this time. Instead former Kilmarnock player Reuben Gabriel is sent on as a substitute before Emmanuel Emenike fires narrowly over the bar. France are making a change too. Olivier Giroud is put out of his misery, Antoine Griezmann coming on. It just hasn’t happened for Giroud.”

Olivier Giroud
Credit: BBC Sport

Via Text Message

Steve Huish, Surbiton: That was a definite red card for France. That was an ankle breaker.

Luis Suarez’s Apology: “After several days of being home with my family I have had the opportunity to regain my calm and reflect about the the reality of what occurred during the Italy-Uruguay match on 24 June 2014. Independent from the fallout and the contradicting declarations that have surfaced during these past days, all of which have been without the intention of interfering with the good performance of my national team, the truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me. For this I deeply regret what occurred. I apologise to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family. I vow to the public that there will never again be another incident like this.”

Neil Johnston: “France rocking. France creaking. Peter Odemwingie lets fly from outside the area that forces Hugo Lloris into a decent save. Nigeria are enjoying their best spell of the game. Can they hurt France? For possession there’s only been one team in this match in the last 10 minutes. Ahmed Musa is running at the French defence again. He manages to get in a cross but Laurent Koscielny clears at full stretch.”

Hugo Lloris
Credit: BBC Sport and EPA ©

Neil Johnston: “Sacre Bleu! How on earth did that stay out? Victor Moses saves Nigeria with a goal line clearance to deny Karim Benzema’s shot after the French striker’s one-two with Antoine Griezmann had sliced open the African defence. So close.”

Karim Bemzema shot
Credit: BBC Sport
Karim Benzema shot
Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©
Victor Moses clears off line
Credit: BBC Sport

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Rob Porter: Horrible leg-breaker from Blaise Matuidi. Should have seen red. Ogenyi Onazi is lucky if his ankle isn’t broken.

Peter Malath: This is the kind of game where I wish I could make Jay-Jay Okocha young again and bring him back.

Stuart Dillon: For a team with ambitions to the win the World Cup, France certainly have to up their game.

Neil Johnston: “Victor Moses has only had one touch in his own box so far. Not a bad one, though, was it?”

Victor Moses touch map
Credit: BBC Sport

Kevin Kilbane: “That was the best moment of the game. A lovely one-two between Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann and a great save. Victor Moses gets back and provides good cover for his defence. Vincent Eneyeama was a little unlucky because it was a good save but it bounced backwards. There has been so much talk about fallout over bonuses but Nigeria do seem really together here. Great play by Moses.”

Neil Johnston: “Fifteen minutes of normal time left. A weary shot from Karim Benzema falls well wide of the net. This game is crying out for a hero. Who will step forward? Antoine Griezmann has lifted France since replacing Giroud. If this match is to be decided in extra time then his presence could be valuable. Yohan Cabaye thumps the ball against Nigeria’s bar after Efe Ambrose hacks Karim Benzema’s shot clear. Then Vincent Enyeama tips Benzema’s header over the bar. France move up a gear and Nigeria cannot cope. After two near misses, Les Bleus find the net after Vincent Enyeama flaps at a cross and Paul Pogba is well placed to head home. It’s cruel on Nigeria, who have played so well. But there’s still time for them to haul themselves back.”

Paul Pogba header
Credit: BBC Sport
Paul Pogba header
Credit: BBC Sport
Paul Pogba celebrates
Credit: BBC Sport

Robbie Savage: “That’s a massive error from the goalkeeper. He’s flapped at the cross, it’s a poor, weak attempt of a punch. So disappointing.”

Kevin Kilbane: “Victor Enyeama came out and flapped at it. I think he recognised his defence is struggling to deal with set plays but he should have got a solid fist on it. A simple header in the end.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Ben Moore: France ahead. It had been coming for the last 10-15 minutes.

Olasmom: Just when I thought it was going be another night of penalties. Come on Super Eagles, you can do this!

Paul Pogba celebrates
Credit: BBC Sport

Neil Johnston: “France are six minutes from the quarter-finals. Nigeria’s defence is creaking. Antoine Griezmann lashes towards the net but Vincent Enyeama sticks out a huge hand. Nigeria are heading for more last-16 heartache. They were beaten at this stage in 1994 and 1998. Can a green shirt conjure up an equaliser? Four minutes remaining.”

France
Credit: BBC Sport ©

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Chris Gilbert: It’s a pity it was Vincent Enyeama’s mistake that ultimately caused the goal. He’s been otherwise fantastic.

Robbie Savage: “France have looked tired and devoid of ideas. But Pogba has been instrumental.”

Neil Johnston: “The Brazil fans in Estadio Nacional are willing Nigeria forward. But even after winning the support of the neutrals, it looks all over for the Africans unless there is a dramatic twist.”

Via Text Message

Mark, Berkshire: Now Nigeria need to wake up or go home.

Neil Johnston: “Another burst of La Marseillaise from the French fans. Five minutes of added time. All over. Mathieu Valbuena sends a low ball into the area from the right towards Antoine Griezmann, who is lurking dangerously at the near post. He misses the ball, though, and it slices in off Joseph Yobo’s boot as he attempts to hack clear.”

French fans
Credit: BBC Sport
Joseph Yobo own goal
Credit: BBC Sport and Reuters ©
Joseph Yobo own goal
Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©
France celebration
Credit: BBC Sport

Kevin Kilbane: “The Nigeria defence did not get themselves organised and it was a great run by Antoine Griezmann and Joseph Yobo had not seen him until too late. Nigeria were just not well organised at all.”

Robbie Savage: “Do France deserve a 2-0 win? Probably not. But Nigeria didn’t take their chances and lacked conviction.”

Neil Johnston: “Red, white and blue flags of France are waved by their jubilant fans in Brasilia. Didier Deschamps side emerge triumphant from a tough test. Heartbreak for Nigeria. It’s all down to Algeria now to keep Africa’s interest at the World Cup alive.”

French fan with flag
Credit: BBC Sport and Getty Images ©

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Tayo Falore: What a sad end for Joseph Yobo. An unfortunate own goal.

Rio Ferdinand: “France got stronger after the obvious change of putting Karim Benzema through the middle. The balance of the team was much better and he looked a different player. But I thought Mathieu Valbuena was the best player on the pitch.”

FULL TIME, THANK YOU FOR KEEPING UPDATED TO THIS BLOG POST AS THE MATCH UNFOLDED, MAKE SURE TO CHECK BACK AT 9:00PM FOR THE FINAL BLOG FEED THAT ROUNDS OFF JUNE ON A HIGH, AND ALSO WELCOMES IN THE NEW LOOK THEME WHEN THE MATCH BETWEEN GERMANY AND ALGERIA IS IN PROGRESS.

THANK YOU FOR VIEWING THIS BLOG FEED :-).

-ALEX SMITHSON

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