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CAF's best push UEFA teams to the limit

Five Aside Jun 30, 2014
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Jun 30, 2014

Last 16 Day 3: CAF push UEFA to the limit

France were able to score two late goals following a bevy of second half opportunities in a 2-0 win over Nigeria.

Day 3 of the knockout round brought a pair of CAF-UEFA clashes, with star-studded European teams squeaking past a pair of African underdogs on late goals.

In the first game of the day, France struggled to create against a stubborn Nigerian side, but a late goalkeeping miscue by the otherwise-excellent Vincent Enyeama made the difference. Later, a determined Algeria took Germany into extra time in a game in which Germany's star defender was the man between the posts.

There have been exactly 150 goals at this World Cup, surpassing the total scored in the entire World Cup in 2010 (145) and 2006 (147). After three extra-time goals from Germany and Algeria, there have now been a single-World-Cup-record 15 goals scored in the 90th minute or later.

Here are five storylines from the third day of the World Cup knockout round:

After an explosive opening to the tournament, France hit a serious dry spell that carried on well into their game against Nigeria. France scored eight goals in its first 165 minutes of this World Cup, but was in a 183-minute scoreless streak as Monday's game headed toward the closing stages at 0-0.

Paul Pogba (age 21) finally broke the deadlock in the 79th minute, heading in a Mathieu Valbuena corner kick to put France ahead. It was another case of a young player making a big impact at this World Cup. This tournament has produced 28 goals from players aged 23 or younger (not including own goals). That's the most goals scored in a single World Cup since by players aged 23 or younger 1974 (also 28).

FranceFrance
NigeriaNigeria
2
0
FT
Match 53
Game Details

Enyeama had a sensational tournament in goal for Nigeria, making 21 saves, most by any keeper through the end of play on Monday. Fifteen of his 21 saves came on shots taken from inside the penalty area, including four against France.

France came up with two late goals to slip past a pesky Nigeria team.
France came up with two late goals to slip past a pesky Nigeria team.

Germany went into their round of 16 game without the services of defender Mats Hummels, who stayed behind at the team hotel with an illness. Algeria set out to exploit the hastily reconfigured German defense with probing through balls into the attacking third.

GermanyGermany
AlgeriaAlgeria
2
1
AET
Match 54
Game Details

German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was up to the task, racing out of his penalty area repeatedly to deal with Algerian counterattacks. Of Neuer's 59 touches against Algeria, 21 of them were outside his own penalty area. Only one goalkeeper in the past 50 years have recorded more touches outside their own penalty area in a World Cup game (Jose Chilavert of Paraguay had 24 against Slovenia, 2002 Group Stage).

It wasn't pretty, but Germany managed to find a way past Algeria in their second round tilt on Monday.
It wasn't pretty, but Germany managed to find a way past Algeria in their second round tilt on Monday.

Germany controlled play throughout the game, finishing with 1,033 touches, the most for any team that has won a World Cup game in the past 50 years. They were unable to get on the scoreboard until extra time, when André Schürrle's 92nd-minute goal made him the first player to score an extra time goal for Germany since Klaus Fischer in 1982. Each team scored once more in extra time, including Algeria's Abdelmoumene Djabou, who scored the latest goal ever tallied in a World Cup game (120:50). But it was not enough to prevent a UEFA sweep.