Africa suffered another nightmare as Nigeria crashed out of the World Cup and were emulated by Algeria ending hopes of the continent’s possible semi-final spot had both teams made the quarterfinal.

Nigeria being the only one of two African countries in the round of 16 had held until the 79th minute when Juventus striker Paul Pogba benefitted from an uncharacteristic Vincent Enyeama error and headed Les Bleus ahead.

Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama went from hero to zero as his error helped France to a 2-0 World Cup last-16 triumph.

Enyeama, who plies his trade with Lille in the French top flight, made sensational saves from Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba, but the latter capitalised when the keeper fluffed at a 79th-minute corner to book a quarter-final place.

Joseph Yobo who was playing his 100th game for Nigeria conceded an own goal in stoppage time further compounding Nigeria’s misery.

The African nation entered the match under the cloud of a dispute over bonus payments with the Nigeria Football Federation, but Stephen Keshi’s men played a full part in an entertaining goalless first half.

Emmanuel Emenike thought he put Nigeria ahead, only to fall foul of a marginal offside call, while a stunning stop by Enyeama somehow prevented Pogba from volleying France in front.

The last five times that France have taken part in the knockout stages of the World Cup, they have reached the semi-finals or better. Algeria waited deep into extra time to succumb to a 2-1 defeat by Germany.

The North Africans put up a formidable show but were hounded out by the Germans.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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