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John Obi Mikel optimistic about Nigeria despite soccer World Cup exit

MUMBAI: Nigeria’s defense during their round of 16 match against France kept the score at 0-0 till the 79th minute. Then France scored from a corner kick because of an error made by Nigeria’s goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama who misjudged the high ball.

This allowed an unmarked Paul Pogba to give France a goal. From then on, the match was lost for Nigeria.

However, Nigerian soccer player John Obi Mikel is not too down about the match result. Speaking to he said, “Honestly, I don’t think that we should be feeling bad right now. We’ve had a great tournament and today we showed the whole world just what we’re capable of, even when up against a great team.

“I think that we played really well from the start, right up until we conceded the opening goal. From that moment on, I’ll admit that we let our heads drop a bit. We couldn’t drag ourselves back into it, but none of that should take the shine off our performance.”

He felt that had the goalkeeper not made the mistake, France would have found the going difficult. “We were very well-organised. We knew exactly what we needed to do in defence against a strong team like France and, on top of that, whenever we had the ball we weren’t afraid to attack. We even had good chances to go in front ourselves. We got so much right, but mistakes do happen. What else can we say? We need to forget it and move on.”

He also spoke about the contest against his French counterpart Pogba saying, “It was an incredible duel, it’s true. There were times when I thought he was starting to look tired, but then he went and scored the opening goal. I guess that, in the end, he wasn’t that tired! But yes, the two of us had a really good tussle.

“He’s an unbelievable player, isn’t he? He got the better of me today, but I’m sure we’ll come up against each other loads more times in the future. Who knows, maybe even at the next World Cup?”

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