FRANCE 2 – 0 NIGERIA
The Nigerians were on quite poor form in this game, although France definitely didn’t play their finest football in the tournament either, they’ve done better in previous games.
Mamadou Sakho stayed on the bench as an unused substitute as France managed to earn their place in the World Cup Quarter Finals after they scored twice in their win over Nigeria, without the help of the Liverpool defender.
There was a very controversial decision to rule a goal out in the first half as Nigeria’s Emmanuel Emenike had a shot he put into the net ruled out for offside by the linesman (and referee). It was SO TIGHT (less than half a yard offside), the officials could easily have allowed the goal to stand and there would have been no outrage about the decision. He wasn’t “CLEARLY” offside. He (Emenike) was almost level with the last defender… only a marginal space between the Nigerian and the French defender. Sometimes referees DO give the strikers the benefit of the doubt as “not cheating or attempting to gain an advantage by playing in an offside position deliberately”, especially in situations where it is VERY close space between the striker who scores and the last defender, but it wasn’t to be such a decision today.
Vincent Enyeama saved Paul Pogba’s volley also in the first half but the teams would go in at the break drawing 0-0.
The game was goalless for over 75 minutes and it would not be until the 79th minute when Pogba would find the net with a header while the Nigerian goalkeeper was off his line and it would be 1-0 to France with only 11 minutes left to play. If the Nigerians were going to get even a draw and take the game into extra time, they would need to score in the dying minutes of the game.
The only goal the Nigerians would score in the final part of this match would be when Joseph Yobo diverted Mathieu Valbuena’s cross into his own net, doubling France’s lead.
KEY PLAYERS: Victor Moses made a goal line clearance which saved the Nigerians from going one more goal down. Emmanuel Emenike deserved to be given his goal and I personally felt sorry for the Nigerian when it was disallowed.
Paul Pogba was one of the best French players on the pitch, getting involved all over the place and even scoring a goal.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red. I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.
I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.