Paul Pogba struck 11 minutes from time as France edged Nigeria 2-0 to take their place in the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals.
Having spent long periods of the second half on the back foot, Les Bleus turned on the style for the final 20 minutes. A flurry of missed opportunities resulted until Pogba kept his composure and Joseph Yobo, under pressure from Antoine Griezmann inadvertently added a late second. It sets up a last-eight showdown with Germany on Friday.
Both sides traded blows in a fast-paced opening, but France landed marginally more. Pogba led the charge, finishing a move that he had started by venomously volleying Mathieu Valbuena's cross towards goal. Nigeria keeper Vincent Enyeama held his ground, though, deflecting the ball behind at point-blank range.
Pogba's incisive running was matched by Blaise Matuidi, whose pass gave Valbuena time and space on the right. Mathieu Debuchy charged onto the ensuing cut-back unopposed, but was off target. The passing from the Super Eagles remained crisp in the second half, with only a final product lacking. Still, they kept coming as Peter Odemwingie, so assured on the ball, cut inside and sent a left-footed strike bouncing off Hugo Lloris.
At the other end, Karim Benzema came alive in the penalty area after a one-two with substitute Griezmann, but as his shot squeezed past Enyeama, Victor Moses hooked off the line. A Yohan Cabaye pile-driver from the edge of the box had the crossbar shaking moments before the goal France had been threatening arrived.
Enyeama flapped at a Valbuena corner from the right and Pogba looped a header into an unguarded net. Valbuena then laid on the killer goal in added time by sweeping into the path of Griezmann, forcing Yobo to put into his own net.
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|1||Hugo Lloris (GK) (C)||1||Vincent Enyeama (GK)|
|2||Mathieu Debuchy||2||Joseph Yobo (C)|
|3||Patrice Evra||5||Efe Ambrose|
|4||Raphaël Varane||7||Ahmed Musa|
|6||Yohan Cabaye||8||Peter Odemwingie|
|10||John Obi Mikel|
|10||Karim Benzema||11||Victor Moses|
|21||Laurent Koscielny||22||Kenneth Omeruo|
|16||Stéphane Ruffier (GK)||16||Austin Ejide (GK)|
|23||Mickaël Landreau (GK)||21||Chgozie Agbim (GK)|
|5||Mamadou Sakho||3||Ejike Uzoenyi|
|7||Rémy Cabella||4||Reuben Gabriel|
|12||Rio Mavuba||12||Kunle Odunlami|
|13||Eliaquim Mangala||14||Godfrey Oboabona|
|15||Bacary Sagna||15||Ramon Azeez|
|17||Lucas Digne||19||Uche Nwofor|
|20||Loïc Rémy||23||Shola Ameobi|
|Didier Deschamps (FRA)||Stephen Keshi (NGA)|
|Mark Geiger (USA)|
|Sean Hurd (USA), Joe Fletcher (CAN)|
|Alireza Faghani (IRN)|