France was searching, and searching, and searching for a breakthrough. Nearly every attempt on goal for the first 78 minutes of Monday's round of 16 clash with Nigeria was sent wide of the goal or thwarted away by Super Eagles goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, who was playing, well, super..
But just moments after Enyeama stone walled yet another Les Blues attempt on goal, he gave them a golden opportunity. And Paul Pogba was more than happy to take advantage of the sudden goal-scoring opportunity.
Pogba's 79th minute header from just outside the six-yard box following a Enyeama mistake on France corner was the difference as Les Blues advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals with a 2-0 win over the Super Eagles. It was Pogba's third goal in a France uniform. Not bad for a guy who entered the World Cup with all of 11 international caps to his name.
At 21 years & 107 days, Paul Pogba is 4th-youngest Frenchman w/ a WC goal, youngest since Thierry Henry in 1998.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) June 30, 2014
This is what Pogba had to say after the game when asked about scoring his first-ever World Cup goal:
"There are no words, I have no words to describe what we are showing. We have a whole nation behind us, I am happy for the team. It's definitely the biggest emotion of my career. We are in the quarter-finals and it is one of the best moments of my life."
(Source: Football Italia)
Not bad, kid. Not bad at all.
It was somewhat fitting that Pogba was finally able to get France's long-awaited goal after he had a wonderful side-volley stopped by Enyeama in the first half — arguably his best save of the day off the right-footed blast from the 21-year-old Juventus midfielder.
Let's just hope for France's sake that Didier Deschamps keeps Olivier Giroud on the bench on France's next game. Did you see how their attack suddenly opened up when Antoine Griezmann was brought on and put Karim Benzema in more of a central role? Yeah, good move, Mister.
Pogba and his fellow Frenchmen will face the winner of Monday's second round of 16 game between Germany and Algeria. Nothing against Algeria, but I think it's safe to assume that a Germany-France contest would be exciting as all hell considering how well both teams have played in the tournament thus far.
Either way, get your popcorn ready. Pogba's still at the World Cup. And we still get to watch him do awesome things.
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