Sunday, May 3, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

France in World Cup QF as nerve holds vs. Nigeria

Brazil Soccer WCup France Nigeria

France's Karim Benzema, top, celebrates with teammates including Paul Pogba, bottom right, after Pogba scored their side's first goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. France won 2-0 to reach the World Cup quarterfinals. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

By
July 02, 2014 |

BRASILIA, Brazil — After being touted as one of the World Cup’s entertainers, it was a gritty performance which got France through to the quarterfinals in a 2-0 victory over Nigeria on Monday.

France’s forward line had made headlines with eight goals in its opening two group games, but there was little flair on display in a hard-fought contest against the African champions.

France needed a late header from midfielder Paul Pogba and an injury-time own goal from defender Joseph Yobo to overcome a robust Nigeria.

The reward is a quarterfinal against Germany on Friday at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium, following the Germans’ 2-1 victory over Algeria.

Pogba’s goal in the 79th minute followed Nigeria’s best spell of the match and came soon after France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had made a crucial save to deny Peter Odemwingie.

“We’re not the prettiest or the best, but we can do good things,” France coach Didier Deschamps said after the game. “The deliverance came late. There was a lot of tension because we were up against a very athletic side and there were a lot of challenges.”

Nigeria, which had a goal ruled out for offside in the 19th minute after Emmanuel Emenike poked home Ahmed Musa’s cross from the left, wasted a lot of second-half possession.

Four years ago, France crashed out of the group stage, shamed a nation by going on strike and was jeered by its own fans and lambasted by politicians in the fallout from an embarrassing tournament.

It’s very different situation now.

“I’m proud of my players because we’re coming back from very far. I think we’ve given a lot of pleasure back to our fans,” Deschamps said. “I think there were 5,000 here and millions back home who will feel proud.”

Pogba’s crucial goal came after Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama had just made a superb save to tip over Karim Benzema’s header. But he he flapped at the ball from the ensuing corner and Pogba pounced in the 79th minute for his first World Cup goal.

That atoned for placing a volley too close to Enyeama in a scrappy first half.

Scoring such a crucial goal will boost his confidence heading into the last eight game.

“We have four days left to prepare for another battle,” Deschamps said.

Yobo, who announced his international retirement after the game, turned the ball into his own net in stoppage time under pressure from France substitute Antoine Griezmann.

At the final whistle, France’s relieved players danced in front of their fans as dreams of a repeat run to the final — just like in 2006 — moved a step closer.

“We had the whole country behind us,” Pogba said. “It’s one of the proudest moments of my life.”

France started slowly and finished strongly in the second round match.

“I’ve yet to see a team play well over the whole 90 minutes,” Deschamps said. “Nigeria dropped off a bit and that allowed us to get on top.”

After Griezmann came on, Benzema finally came alive in the 70th, opening up the defense after a clever one-two with the France substitute. After Enyeama blocked Benzema’s initial shot, his follow-up effort was hacked clear by Victor Moses. Video technology confirmed that the ball had not crossed the line.

France failed to show the attacking flair of previous games, with Giroud skewing a shot wide early on.

He also appeared to elbow John Obi Mikel in an off-the ball incident, having done the same in last week’s 0-0 draw with Ecuador after coming on as a second-half substitute.

“The referee saw it and didn’t even give him a warning. Not a yellow card, nothing,” Mikel said. “The intention was there.”

Keshi was highly critical of American referee Mark Geiger’s handling of the game.

“The ref is a human being, but a lot of mistakes were questionable,” he said. “Giroud elbow, Pogba foot up … he decides what happens on the field. I’m not happy with the ref.”

Two chances were missed late in the half.

Full-back Mathieu Debuchy smacked a shot wide and into the back of a steward, and Emenike saw his sharp drive from the edge of the area palmed away by Lloris.

With Nigeria starting to dominate possession, Deschamps made a key change in the 62nd, taking Giroud off and bringing on Griezmann, freeing Benzema to play through the middle.

Nigeria continued to push forward and center half Laurent Kocielny cut out Musa’s dangerous cross from the right.

But toward the end, it was all France as Griezmann boosted the attack. He almost made it 2-0 in the 85th that Enyeama tipped over brilliantly. Instead, it fell to Yobo to inadvertently add France’s second goal.

Lineups:

France: Hugo Lloris; Mathieu Debuchy, Raphael Varane, Laurent Koscielny, Patrice Evra; Paul Pogba, Yohan Cabaye, Blaise Matuidi; Mathieu Valbuena (Moussa Sissoko, 94th), Olivier Giroud (Antoine Griezmann, 62nd), Karim Benzema.

Nigeria: Vincent Enyeama; Efe Ambrose, Kenneth Omeruo, Joseph Yobo, Juwon Oshaniwa; Ogenyi Onazi (Ruben Gabriel, 59th), John Obi Mikel; Ahmed Musa, Peter Odemwingie, Victor Moses (Uche Nwofor, 89th); Emmanuel Emenike.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
3rd-graders study nature at Fairfield park

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Pros have tough time with financial news

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: C1

 
Colliers releases Solano-Napa commercial real estate report

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Fairfield industrial sector remains hot

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: C1, 5 Comments

 
Solano County to add War on Terror names to memorial

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Calico’s legacy lives on to this day

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
I’m asking for your forgiveness

By Steve Kiefer | From Page: D2, 3 Comments

 
Snow Mountain hike set on Mother’s Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Library continues spring book sale

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Knitters group about to start in Vacaville

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Sacramento rally to support child advocacy

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
 
Airmen from Vacaville finish basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

 
Band festival brings sweet music to downtown Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
CASA of Solano seeks volunteers

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A13

 
Public hearing set before Mental Health Advisory Board

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A13

.

US / World

Britain says hello to newest princess

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
‘Be Kind to Animals’ celebrates 100 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6, 1 Comment

 
NYPD officer in critical condition after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Drop out thinks he can get you a tech industry job

By Bloomberg News | From Page: A9

 
Damage soars as Oakland demonstrations turn violent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 7 Comments

Japanese PM sees ‘alliance of hope’ with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Plans are at odds over fate of medical marijuana

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

‘Huggy’ returns to Capitol after 12-year hiatus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Sea Lion found wandering the streets of SF

By Bloomberg News | From Page: A11

 
Portman doing balancing act with re-election, trade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Need for cybersecurity experts met by trend in cyber camps

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Lincoln’s hometown re-enact his funeral

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Pope Francis set to name Serra a saint in DC ceremony

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
ISIS kills 25 captive Yazidis in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Living

US colleges bringing in chaplains to serve the nonbelievers

By The Associated Press | From Page: D2Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Community Calendar: May 3, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Today in history: Sunday, May 3, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Love Your Lines: stretch marks go viral in support of women

By The Associated Press | From Page: D4

My 67-year-old husband won’t stop viewing porn on his computer

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D4

 
Crabapples come in many varieties (some aren’t even crabby)

By The Associated Press | From Page: D4 | Gallery

Horoscope: May 3, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D4

 
.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

 
T. Coraghessan Boyle wins $30,000 for short story writing

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

On his list: John Oates of Hall & Oates has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

 
Illness memoir ‘The Iceberg’ wins Wellcome Book Prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: C5

 
.

Sports

Mayweather wins unanimous decision over Pacquiao

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders head to Travis AFB for Day 3 of NFL Draft

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Favorite American Pharoah rallies to win Kentucky Derby

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies, Warriors ready to meet in conference semifinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders fill more holes on final day of draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Odor’s RBI single in 10th lifts Rangers past A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michael Allen leads Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Posey, Crawford homer in Giants’ 5-4 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers fortify offense on third day of draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Murray wins twice for BMW Open final against Kohlschreiber

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jeff Gordon leads Hendrick in pole-winning run at Talladega

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kreider’s early goal leads Rangers over Capitals in Game 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Thompson ricochets to share of LPGA Tour lead with Park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Joey Logano uses big block on last lap to win Xfinity race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Paul lifts Clippers past Spurs, 111-109 in Game 7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

McIlroy in a fight with Casey until darkness gets in the way

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

Starbucks breakdown shows how registers have evolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Offshore wind energy sector off to slow start in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Recalls this week: Kaleidoscope toys, batteries

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
A chip off the old Croc: The return of the ugly shoe

By Bloomberg News | From Page: C3, 1 Comment | Gallery

Review: Getting your Apple Watch? Here’s how to use it

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
US seeks to compensate victims of Sudan, Iran and Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
.

Obituaries

Sherman Elwood

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
George Benjamin Kimes Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

Gerald Mc Devitt

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
Fred L. Kirk

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

Marcello T Gemignani

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
Lois Geraldine Johnston

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A13

.

Comics

.

Summer Sunsational 2015

Solano County Fair: Something for everyone

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM6

Get ready to get down to the music at Dixon fair

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM13

Cars, cars and more cars

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM18

Farmers markets, produce stands offer regional bounty

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM19

Golf, anyone? Lots to choose from

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM20

More wine! Solano offers much to tease the palate

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM22

Get back to nature across Solano County

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM23

Mondavi Center brings world-class performances to region

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM29

Go behind the scene on Anheuser-Busch brewery tours

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM30

Try your luck at area casinos

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM37

Fair fun continues during summer in Napa

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM45