Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Round of 16 - Match #5 - France v. Nigeria

Hiya, chaps! I'm back in Fred-town this morning looking forward to two Europe v. Africa clashes today. First up, a resurgent Les Bleus taking on Nigeria. Join me here to follow the match.

58 Comments:

Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Morning, everyone. Here is the team news for this afternoon's opener:

France - Lloris, Debuchy, Varane, Koscielny, Evra, Pogba, Cabaye, Matuidi, Valbuena, Giroud, Benzema.
Subs: Ruffier, Landreau, Sakho, Cabella, Griezmann, Mavuba, Mangala, Sagna, Digne, Sissoko, Remy, Schneiderlin.

Nigeria - Enyeama, Ambrose, Yobo, Oshaniwa, Omeruo, Musa, Onazi, Mikel, Moses, Odemwingie, Emenike.
Subs: Ejide, Agbim, Uzoenyi, Gabriel, Egwuekwe, Odunlami, Oboabona, Azeez, Nwofor, Uchebo, Ameobi.

Referee: Mark Geiger (USA)

11:44 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Didier Deschamps has made six changes after taking some downtime against Honduras, with Olivier Giroud recalled and Yohan Cabaye back from suspension:

11:45 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Nigeria make one enforced change, with Victor Moses replacing Michael Babatunde, who broke his left wrist against Argentina (or had it broken for him by a shot from the Gigi Riva de nos jours, his own team-mate Ogenyi Onazi)

11:49 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Mark Geiger, the NJ schoolteacher who has been so impressive so far in this World Cup, gets another match today. Well done, the MLS!

11:50 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Here come the sides now.

11:54 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

La Marseillaise - still the greatest anthem.

11:55 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

And we're away - Allez Les Bleus!

12:00 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

France in their change strip of white and blue whilst Nigeria are wearing their traditional all green.

12:00 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The French may well get some joy through Debuchy running against Stephen Ambrose who's an unconventional right back.

12:02 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

The French are giving up far too many silly fouls in dangerous areas. Fortunately, it's only the likes of Emenike behind them.

12:18 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Nigeria have the ball in the net but Emenike had strayed offside.

12:19 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Pogba with a great volley from Valbuena's cross. Great save by Nyema.

12:24 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Moses and Ambrose take turns to worry France down the right. They win a corner, and waste it. Good luck in calling who's going to open the scoring here. Or indeed close it. It's a marvelous end-to-end spectacle. Both teams are well up for this.

12:26 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Ambrose and Moses again down the right, the former winning a corner off Evra, who is frowning quite a lot. Nobody furrows their brow with as much intensity as Evra. France clear the set piece fairly easily, which should ease the strain on their under-pressure left-back's facial muscles if nowt else.

12:30 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Lloris is lucky to pick up a foul after he flaps at one.

12:31 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Very even contest so far with some chances at both ends.

12:31 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Giroud is flinging his arms around in the extravagant style. He is French, I suppose.

12:32 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh come on, now. Debuchy goes for an extravagant wasteful volley instead of recovering possession.

12:33 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Valbueno looks like a representative of the Lollipop Guild.

12:34 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Half an hour in. This is a game of such end-to-end fervour that corners are not even news any more. Both teams earn one, both teams waste them.

12:35 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

James Rodriguez is still the Golden Boot leader at present with five under his belt. Benzema and Mueller could have something to say about that today. Both are on four.

12:35 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Moses looks to Geiger for a foul but the American ref waves on. He hasn't put a foot wrong yet.

12:36 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Pogba looks highly dangerous every time he receives possession. First he twists and turns on the edge of the D before attempting to release Valbuena down the right with a diagonal scoop.

12:37 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Great French move but it lands at Debuchy's feet and he lashes it wide. Wish that had fallen to Giroud.

12:39 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Another really promising attack goes begging for France.

Two minutes of stoppage time to come.

12:45 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Geiger is definitely not going to be on Victor Moses' Christmas Card List. He falls again looking for support from the no nonsense ref.

12:46 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

We're back on at Brasilia for the second half. France are certainly the favorites here, but the Nigerians have given them a match. 0-0 at the interval.

1:02 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Koz concedes an early corner to Nigeria.

1:05 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

No changes so far from either side. Nigeria have started the livelier.

1:10 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Matuidi picks up a yellow for an ugly challenge on Onazi.

1:12 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Onazi looks as if he won't be able to continue. Possible ligament damage.

1:13 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Koz concedes another corner. The French look a bit rattled. They weren't really tested in Group E.

1:15 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Gabriel comes on for the stricken Onazi.

1:18 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Giroud has enjoyed a couple of good performances at this World Cup, but this hasn't been one of them. He's hooked for Griezmann. Gooner would be happy if that's the last we see of him in Brazil.

1:23 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

France haven't achieved much since the restart. Griezmann goes on a wander down the left, but is quickly stopped in his tracks.

1:25 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

France really on the backfoot here. They'll be lucky to get through this one now.

1:26 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

France finally get a move together, Griezmann whipping a ball into the area from the left. Enyeama, against character, flaps at the far post, the ball nearly dropping to Pogba, who is shaping to shoot from eight yards. Oshaniwa contorts his body in mid air and just about manages to hack clear.

1:26 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - a real chance there as Benzema streaked through on goal. Enyema saved it and then Victor Moses hooked it off the line. Another good use of goal-line technology.

1:27 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Twenty minutes left for the deadlock to be broken.

1:28 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Griezmann has made a difference. He's scuttling around the Nigerians' feet, dragging the defence this way and that. A little backflick to Benzema, and the striker's in space. He wallops a low shot inches wide of the left-hand post.

1:32 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

A couple of quick corners in succession for the French.

1:33 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Cabaye has a header off the underside of the bar. France knocking at the door late on. They must finish Nigeria off while they're back on their heels.

1:35 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Nigeria resorting to fouling Valbuena now.

1:35 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Oh - Nyema denies Benzema once again. Free header. In fairness it was a good height for the keeper to tip over.

1:36 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

GOAL! Allez Les Bleus! Pogba finally scores for the French.

1:37 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Set pieces are the Nigerians Achilles Heel once again. Nyema has been excellent today but he mishandled that on to Pogba who merely nodded it back toward goal.

1-0 France!

1:38 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

France merely have to survive the next eight minutes or so and they'll be through to a quarter final.

1:40 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Pogba launches a gorgeous long pass down the left channel. Griezmann, who has been excellent since coming on, takes the ball down and lashes a rising diagonal shot towards the top-right corner from 20 yards or so. Enyeama tips over spectacularly, and Mikel heads the resulting corner clear.

1:43 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Gabriel, with time in the middle of his own half, dispatches the ball deep into the stand down the right. France enjoyed watching that, with the clock ticking the way clocks tick.

1:46 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Uche Nwofor comes on to spark the offense; Victor Moses trudges off.

1:46 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

This will not be a popular win in Brazil, judging by the noise in the stadium. European sides have underperformed in this tournament but there will still likely be four European sides out of the last eight.

1:48 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

GOAL! Griezmann seals it for France with a nifty finish from an acute angle from the clever set piece routine. Valbuena with a slide rule pass.

2-0!

1:49 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

On the replay, it looks as if it's an own goal by Joseph Yobo. Even Efan Ekoku finds the Nigerian response to the French goal "toothless."

1:50 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Moussa Sissoko coming on late for Valbuena who's been France's orchestra leader today. Great performance.

1:51 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Deep into added time. France made hard work of this but in the end they win comfortably and could have won by more.

1:51 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

That's that, then. France are through and on course for a collision with the old enemy Germany in the quarters on July 4th!

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Swansong said...

Germany have their work cut out for them here!!

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Swansong said...

Germany have their work cut out for them here!!

5:41 PM  

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