France beats Nigeria 2-0 to reach World Cup quarterfinal

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France beats Nigeria 2-0 to reach World Cup quarterfinal
It took a while, but #FRA finally broke the deadlock against #NGA. Pogba provided the winning goal. WATCH » http://t.co/R5qlw9aCcw
French players wave to supporters following France's 2-0 victory over Nigeria during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
France's Antoine Griezmann (11) and Mathieu Valbuena (8) celebrate after their second 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. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
French players celebrate after 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 the match 2-0. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
French players celebrate after 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 the match 2-0. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
France's Rio Mavuba, right, and Blaise Matuidi celebrate after 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 the match 2-0. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
Nigerian walk off the pitch following France's 2-0 victory over Nigeria during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
France's Mathieu Valbuena celebrates after 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 and advances to the quarterfinal. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
France's Paul Pogba (19) challenges Nigeria's Joseph Yobo (2) during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
France's Olivier Giroud, left, and Mathieu Valbuena celebrate at the end of 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)
France's Mathieu Valbuena, right, celebrates with teammates and fans at the end of 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)
France's goalkeeper Hugo Lloris hugs Nigeria's goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, right, following France's 2-0 victory over Nigeria during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
French players celebrate after 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 the match 2-0. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
Nigerian players react on their bench after Nigeria's Joseph Yobo scored an own goal to give France a 2-0 victory during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
France's Rio Mavuba, left, and Blaise Matuidi celebrate after 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 and advances to the quarterfinal. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
France's Paul Pogba talks to Nigerian players following France's 2-0 victory over Nigeria during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
French players celebrate after 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 the match 2-0. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
France's Paul Pogba (19), far right, scores the opening 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. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
French players celebrate after France defeated Nigeria 2-0 during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
France's Paul Pogba waves to spectators after 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 and advances to the quarterfinal. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Nigeria's Joseph Yobo, front, scores an own goal to give France a 2-0 lead during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Nigerian players react after France defeated Nigeria 2-0 during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
France's Blaise Matuidi carries his teammate Mathieu Valbuena as they celebrate at the end of 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)
Nigerian players huddle together after France defeated Nigeria 2-0 during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Nigeria's Mikel John Obi, right, and France's Bacary Sagna shake hands after 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 and advances to the quarterfinal. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
France players celebrate after Nigeria's Joseph Yobo scored an own 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 and advanced to the quarterfinal. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
France's Paul Pogba, center, eyes the ball before heading his side's opening 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. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Nigeria's goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama looks as a shot goes wide during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
France's goalkeeper Hugo Lloris celebrates after teammate Paul Pogba scored his 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. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
France's goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, right, clears the ball in front of Nigeria's Emmanuel Emenike during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Nigeria's Kenneth Omeruo goes for a header with France's Olivier Giroud during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Referee Mark Geiger from the United States, center, tries to arbitrate an argument by Nigeria's Peter Odemwingie, left, and France's Yohan Cabaye during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Nigeria's goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama leaps to clear the ball away from his 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. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Nigeria's goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama follows the action during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Nigeria's Kenneth Omeruo, left, and France's Laurent Koscielny go for a header during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Referee Mark Geiger from the United States, right, books France's Blaise Matuidi, center, after fouling Nigeria's Ogenyi Onazi, left, during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Nigeria's Ahmed Musa, center, collides with France's Patrice Evra as he chases the ball during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
France's Olivier Giroud, left, tries to help his teammate Raphael Varane as he collapses against the goal net after being hit on the side of the head with a ball during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
France's Blaise Matuidi (14) fouls Nigeria's Ogenyi Onazi during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
France's Paul Pogba celebrates with teammate Mathieu Valbuena, left, after scoring during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
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BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -- Paul Pogba scored with a late header to finally break Nigeria's stubborn resistance and Joseph Yobo added an own-goal as France won 2-0 to reach the World Cup quarterfinals on Monday.

Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama had just made a superb save to tip over Karim Benzema's header, but he flapped at the ball from the ensuing corner and Pogba pounced in the 79th minute to nod in his first goal of the tournament.

Pogba atoned for a scrappy first half in which he gave the ball away carelessly and placed a volley too close to Enyeama. Scoring such a crucial goal will boost his confidence heading into the last eight against either Germany or Algeria, who played their match later.

Yobo turned the ball into his own net in stoppage time under pressure from France substitute Antoine Griezmann - who made a big difference after replacing the ineffective Olivier Giroud in the 62nd.

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.

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

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

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.

Nigeria chose a very audacious lineup with four attacking players and found a lot of space behind France's fullbacks, with right back Efe Ambrose causing problems with his overlaps.

Pogba's tendency to try and hit perfect through-balls worked against his team as he gave the ball away four times inside the first 10 minutes alone. He often seemed in two minds and this only slowed down the French attacks.

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

Giroud 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.

Two chances were missed late in the half.

Full-back Mathieu Debuchy found space on the right side of the area in the 40th after collecting a pass from Mathieu Valbuena, but his attempt smacked into the back of a steward. Emenike saw his sharp drive from the edge of the area palmed away by France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, with no Nigeria player near the loose ball.

Center half Raphael Varane added much composure to a nervous-looking France team and hurt himself heading away a cross before it could reach Emenike in the 53rd. With French nerves fraying, midfielder Blaise Matuidi was booked for a heavy challenge on Ogenyi Onazi, who was replaced by Ruben Gabriel in the 59th.

The atmosphere quietened at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, with the pockets of French fans watching silently on as Nigeria started to dominate possession. Coach Didier Deschamps then made a key change, taking Giroud off and bringing on Griezmann, freeing Benzema to play through the middle.

But Nigeria continued to push forward, and Lloris did well to block a shot from Peter Odemwingie, who was Nigeria's most dangerous player making runs from deep.

Center half Laurent Kocielny made a vital interception to block Musa's dangerous cross from the right with a little more than 20 minutes left.

Then, it was all France as Griezmann boosted the attacks with his mobility and technique, and he almost made it 2-0 with an effort 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.

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