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Super-Eagles The second round of the knockout stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup continues today at 5pm with a mouth watering clash between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and  Le Bleus of France. This is the first of three knockout phases before the final at the Maracana stadium. The last time these two teams played in a friendly match, Nigeria came out victorious with a score of 1-0. Today’s game stands as the first competitive fixture between the two countries. The Les Bleus attack which is spearheaded by the Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema with 3 goals already, will be looking to hammer the Super Eagles with goals that will seal a qualification to the quarter finals. Known more these days for their in-camp fighting than the Gallic flair that brought them success at the World Cup 1998, the French breezed through qualifying and will be hoping to replicate the form that saw them reach the final in 2006, and not the one that saw them fail to progress from the group stage in 2002 and 2010 against the Super Eagles. On the other hand, the Super Eagles’ unexpected triumph last year has given Nigerian fans much to be confident about and they will be out to impress against their French counterpart. The Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi says a place in the quarter-final should take precedence over his record as the first African to lead an African team to the second round at the FIFA World Cup. Last year he became the first black African coach to have won the Africa Cup of Nations in 21 years, and last Wednesday he helped Nigeria secure a place in the round of 16 at Brazil 2014. The former Nigeria captain said. “For me, my team and country come before any personal glory.” “My boys know what I expect and our opponents will not make life easy for them. The Super Eagles have never made it to the quarter finals so they can make history of their own. There’s no motivation bigger than that.” The Super Eagles are expected to start Emmanuel Emenike, John Obi Mikel, Osaze Odemwingie and the man who got a brace against the Argentines, Ahmed Musa for this match given their form.

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This article was first published on 30th June 2014


Martins Okafor is a Sports Writer for Connect Nigeria. He has been a sport buff for years, following stories and development in leagues and international competitions. His interest led him to writing stories – reporting on sporting events. He has superior interest in soccer, but knows much about other sports. He plans to have a blog and to advance in sport journalism. You can email him at: obimartins85 [at]

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