Mathieu Debuchy

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor


Newcastle United pair Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko helped France reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup on Monday night.

Les Bleus left it late against Nigeria but eventually ran out 2-0 winners thanks to a Paul Pogba's header and a Joseph Yobo own goal.

After one game on the substitutes' bench, Debuchy was reinstated to France's rearguard and the right-back had a superb game - solid in his defensive duties, while offering a threat going forward.

Sissoko was an injury-time replacement for fellow midfielder Mathieu Valbuena.

Nigeria started brightly and Emmanuel Emenike thought he had broken the deadlock with a close-range finish, only to see his effort ruled out by an offside flag.

At the other end, Super Eagles goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama made an outstanding save to keep out Pogba's volley, while Debuchy should have done better with an off-target shot.

France eventually took the lead on 79 minutes when Pogba headed into an empty net after Enyeama had misjudged Valbuena's corner.

And the result was put beyond any doubt in stoppage time as Nigeria defender Yobo flicked Valbuena's low cross into his own net.

France will face Germany in the quarter-finals on Friday in Rio de Janeiro (5pm kick-off).