Nigeria’s Super Eagles put up a good fight, but it was a fight that did not yield the desired results and therefore broke the hearts of many.
Fans across the continent of Africa were disappointed when Nigeria’s Super Eagles kissed their chances goodbye against France in their quarter-finals decider Monday at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia. Likewise when Algeria, the last African team standing, lost 2-1 to Germany in extra time after 90 minutes of a goalless draw.
Though France was considered the favorite, the African champions called off that bluff, and held their side until the 79th minute when Paul Pogba’s header from the center of the box entered the bottom right corner following a corner to give France their first goal.
The second goal was an own goal scored by Joseph Yobo in the 92nd minute when he diverted Valbuena's low cross into his own net. It is the second time that an own goal has doomed an African nation. Ghana’s undoing against Portugal came from an own-goal.
Though the 2-0 gave France the game, the game itself proved too difficult for the French, as the African Champions were in no mood, initially to back down.
The Super Eagles could have shot ahead in the 19th minute with Emmanuel Emenike connecting from an inswinging pass from Ahmed Musa but an offside stopped Emenike from completing the job.
The African champions on several occasions were purposeful in defense and attack, with Victor Moses and Vincent Enyeama moving back and forth.
When France got the first goal, they seemed to lose steam, just preferring to defend their lone goal. But the inevitable happened with Yobo’s deflection.
The most impressive player on the French side was Paul Pogba, whose work-rate was above average, while on the Nigerian side, Victor Moses proved unyielding in his performance.
With all chances lost, it was France who made a breakthrough when Yohan Cabaye’s 25-yard volley rebounded to safety from the underside of the crossbar.
The Super Eagles’ exit shrunk Africa’s hope, leaving Algeria standing alone; but Algeria, after a strong fight, lost 2-1 to Germany Monday night, effectively ending Africa's chances at World Cup glory.