France beat Nigeria 2-0

The European side ended the African team’s hopes of reaching the last eight of the World Cup.

Nigerian head coach Stephen Keshi. Picture: Facebook.

BRAZIL - France ended Nigeria's hopes of a first World Cup quarter-final appearance when they scored two late goals to beat the Super Eagles 2-0 in a rough and physical second-round match on Monday.

Midfielder Paul Pogba put France ahead in the 79th minute, heading in at the far post after Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama flapped at Mathieu Valbuena's corner following a sustained spell of French pressure.

The win was sealed when Joseph Yobo turned a low cross into his own goal in stoppage time and France will play Germany or Algeria in the last eight.

It was a controversial victory, however, as the game had swung France's way after Nigeria's influential midfielder Ogenyi Onazi was injured and carried off following a late tackle from Blaise Matuidi, who was lucky to escape with only a yellow card.

"I am very proud of everything we did from the start," France coach Didier Deschamps said in a television interview.

"There was tension out there. They are a very strong side and there were a lot of duels. But we're through. We're in the quarter finals and we'll do everything we can to go a stage further." Pogba was elated after scoring such an important goal.

"There are no words to describe this," he said.

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

Nigeria was defending increasingly desperately in the run-up to Pogba's goal.

France will play the winner of Germany vs Algeria.

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