Hugo and France into last eight
30 June 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Hugo Lloris kept his third clean sheet of the tournament as France reached the World Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Nigeria on Monday.
Our charismatic goalkeeper was kept busy throughout the last 16 contest in Brasilia, being called upon a handful of times as Nigeria pushed for an opener before Les Bleus wrapped up the win with two goals in the last 12 minutes.
Nigeria thought they’d taken the lead on 19 minutes when Emmanuel Emenike squeezed the ball inside the near post, but an off-side flag saw his effort ruled out.
Hugo made a smart stop to keep out Emenike’s long-range strike with the half-time interval approaching, before saving Peter Odemwingie’s fierce left-footer from outside the box on 64 minutes.
France upped their game in the closing stages, their sustained period of pressure paying dividends when Paul Pogba headed them into a 79th minute lead.
An own goal by Joseph Yobo a minute into stoppage time sealed the deal and sent Les Bleus into the competition’s last eight, where they’ll face a Germany outfit that emerged from a gruelling battle with Algeria on the winning end of a 2-1 scoreline after extra time.
Algeria, for whom Nabil Bentaleb was an unused substitute, put on a courageous performance in Porto Alegre where they attacked at pace at every opportunity before succumbing to goals from Andre Schurrle and Mesut Ozil at the start and end of extra time. The African side still managed to muster a consolation goal through Abdelmoumene Djabou in the dying seconds, but it was Joachim Low’s men who booked a date with France on Friday, kick-off 5pm.
The next Spurs interest in the tournament is on Tuesday at 9pm when Belgium – whose squad includes Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli – face USA in the round of 16.