Mikel scores when he wants
Mikel scores when he wants

Nigeria gave this their all. They left everything on the pitch in Brasilia. Victor Moses gained back his place alongside Obi John and Kenneth Omeruo as coach Stephen Keshi looked to take the game to France on the wings.
The match though started as a tactical tussle, neither side committing too much to attack. Nigeria’s plan was clearly to move the ball wide to Moses and Ahmed Musa and it was the CSKA man who whipped the ball in for Emmanuel Emenike to head in. The linesman’s flag looked fair until the slow-mo at half-time proved he was on.
France were cagey and looked to be saving something but Pogba brought the best out of Enyeama in the Nigeria goal with one first-half shot.
The second-half seemed to be Nigeria’s for the taking as they pressed the French back. Hugo Lloris was smartly down to save from Odemwingie before Victor Moses had to hack Benzema’s shot off his own line as the ball rolled toward goal.
Nigeria lost Ogenyi Onazi to a clattering late and ultimately only yellow challenge from Blaise Matudi just before the break and they started to fade towards the end. France started to dominate possession.
The first hit came from a corner. Enyeama came rushing out for a corner that was never his, Paul Pogba looped his header into the empty net. 1-0.
Nigeria tried to rally but with the goal coming with just ten-minutes left meant there was little to be done. Joseph Yobo was unlucky to divert another Mathieu Valbuena cross into his own net for the second. 2-0.
Nigeria ultimately fell to a cannier tournament team. France could have been a man down at the half but had the edge in fitness and got lucky with their goals.
Nigeria have never been past the last 16 but this bunch can go home with their heads held high. They did their best only for tiredness to win the tie.

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