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Report: Brazil World Cup 2014

Five things we learned on day 19

Algeria's Sofiane Feghouli covers his face as he reacts to his team's loss against Germany, Porto Alegre, 30 June 2014.
Algeria's Sofiane Feghouli covers his face as he reacts to his team's loss against Germany, Porto Alegre, 30 June 2014. Reuters/Edgard Garrido

If you can’t beat them, hack them. Ogenyi Onazi was basically running the show during the Nigeria v France last 16 match in Brasilia. The question was would he fade?

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That we’ll never know because he was slayed. A couple of robust challenges here and there and then a Blaise Matuidi hack did for the Nigerian midfielder who was stretchered off. After he left early in the second half, France began to take control. Strange that. They’re now looking forward to a quarter-final game against the Germans.

Joseph Yobo is over and out. The Nigeria skipper called it a day internationally after the Nigeria v France last 16 match. More than 100 caps for his country over a dozen years is service of which he can be proud. Shame he had to go out on an own goal. But the game is cruel.

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Do the bite thing. Heavens above, a film reference which isn’t the Field Of Dreams. Or a Bond move. It really is looking like the End of Days. Chewis Suarez is back on the world cup radar after issuing a carefully worded statement on Twitter. "I apologise to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family," Suarez said. "I vow to the public there will never again be it.” Ah Luis, it’s good to digest the bigger picture rather than a chunk of an adversary. How your team missed you during their 2-0 defeat to Colombia in the last 16. What might you have achieved had you been with them? How can you live with tainting consecutive world cups? First, the handball on the line in 2010 to deny Ghana passage to the semi-finals and now chomping into an opponent’s shoulder.

Oh, that looks tasty. No, we’re not talking about a defender’s anatomy and Luis Suarez but the forthcoming quarter-final clash between France and Germany. They’ve had some spicy encounters over the years. The daily review was just a young man when the famous one took place between a Michel Platini led France. The French were up 3-1 but ultimately succumbed to the Germans in a penalty shoot out in the 1982 semi-final.

Adventure is the best form of defence. Tribute to the Algerians who took it to the Germans during their last 16 game. They were not overawed and not played high tempo football. The Germans were rattled. The Algerians showed the French the way to go. But then again the Nigerians showed the Germans the path to pursue to undo the French. Should be intriguing in Rio in a couple of days.

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