France were able to seal a victory over Nigeria in the closing minutes of their match at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia in the round of 16 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The 2-0 win is only the second match in three days that has so far been decided on regulation time.
France 2-0 Nigeria
(POGBA 79', Yobo 90+ OG)
Out of six matches, two have so far been decided on penalties, Brazil's win over Mexico and Costa Rica's win over Greece. Late goals have also been the trend with The Dutch scoring in the 88th minute to equalise and taking the winner in stoppage time. Greece also scored an equalizer in stoppage time to force extra time and penalties only to eventually concede to Costa Rica.
All the intensity in the first two days of the knockout stage carried on into the third day despite having a match that was scoreless for close to 80 minutes. France opened up the scoring opportunities through an early attempt by Olivier Giroud but Nigeria looked more threatening throughout the half and even netted a goal in the 19th minute only to be denied by the offside trap.
Pogba answered back by making a run to the other end of the pitch only to have his effort palmed off by Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama.
The second half started with another attempt by Nigeria through Peter Odemwingie. France fought back and Karim Benzema soon threatened the Nigerian goal and beat the keeper only to be denied by Victor Moses who cleared away before the ball crossed the line. Yohan Cabaye hit the post for France and at this point the momentum was with Les Bleus.
Benzema shot a header which Enyeama kept out but he was soon defeated when he defended against a corner from Valbuena and left the goal vulnerable to an opportunistic Pogba who headed in a goal to an undefended net in the closing ten minutes.
France took control of the match after taking the lead and never gave Nigeria the opportunity to equalise. Yobo sealed the deal by botching up a clearance and sending the ball into the Nigerian net for an own goal in injury time.
France will be facing Germany in the quarterfinals in a big European clash of bitter rivals.