France have been pinned back by Nigeria so far, as the Super Eagles have taken the game to Didier Dechamps’ men but the sides are locked at 0-0 in Brasilia.
Emmanuel Emenike has put the ball in the back of the net for Nigeria but it was called offside, while France have found Nigeria’s defense hard to break down.
Let’s take a look at what we found out in the first half.
FOLLOW LIVE: Soccerly’s real-time match center
Other key moments:
18′: Musa whips in a great ball that Emenike tucks home at the near post but the Fenerbache forward was just offside. So close for Nigeria.
22′: Enyeama pulls off a wonderful stop after a simply brilliant volley from Pogba.
33′: Debuchy latches onto the ball after a great run from Valbuena but lashes his shot horribly wide.
43′: Emenike smashes a shot in on goal that Lloris can’t hold but beats away to safety.
Stats to know
6 – France have had six shots but have found Enyeama in top form for Nigeria so far.
5 – Nigeria aren’t far behind and are causing France plenty of problems with their direct style of play.
Questions for the second half:
Can Nigeria keep pushing for the opener?
Nobody really expected Nigeria to have a good go at France in the first half. Now that they have, can they sustain it? Emenike is a livewire and on both wings they have Moses and Musa who can cause plenty of problems. If they can keep the tempo high, the shock is on for Nigeria.
Will France switch things up?
Sooner or later you feel like France will have to switch things up as Benzema and Giroud just aren’t linking up in attack. Will Antoine Griezmann be called upon?
Five MLS teams have made the playoffs, but in the world of probability that number is a lot closer to 10.
Red Bulls, DC, L.A., Vancouver and Dallas are in the postseason, while Toronto, Columbus, New England and Sporting KC are on the verge. Seattle is just behind that group.
[ MORE: Three big battles between U.S. and Mexico ]
So how about those final two slots?
Montreal: at Colorado, vs. New England, at Toronto
Orlando: vs. NYC, at Philadelphia
New York City: at Orlando, vs. New England
Obviously, the Impact have the wheel here, though a pair of road tests — one across the continent — aren’t easy. If it comes down to a match against their rivals at BMO Field, all bets will be off. NYC can do Montreal a huge favor by getting a result in Orlando, but Jason Kreis’ side need all three points (Well, all six points… and a load of help). No one is playing better than Orlando right now.
San Jose: vs Sporting KC, at Dallas
Portland: at RSL, at LA, vs. Colorado
Houston: vs. Seattle, at Vancouver
Real Salt Lake: vs. Portland, vs. Dallas, at Seattle
Quite literally anything can happen here in terms of these four. Pressure’s surely on Caleb Porter and the Timbers to finally give their supporters a side worth their passion. RSL is the only other side with three matches left, and the two pair up next. Houston has a harrowing pair of matches, one without Cubo Torres, while San Jose also has two tough efforts.
Longtime Serie A goalkeeper and World Cup winner Marco Amelia is giving Chelsea some cover.
The ex-AC Milan man, 33, has also played for Roma and Livorno amongst other stops in Italy, and has been on trial at Stamford Bridge for some time.
[ MORE: Klopp to Liverpool announcement expected shortly ]
Amelia will backup Asmir Begovic, and give the Blues three keepers in the absence of Thibaut Courtois.
He’s available for Chelsea’s next match, against Aston Villa, and will potentially slide into the No. 2 slot ahead of 21-year-old Jamal Blackman. Whether he’s an upgrade in skill is debatable, but his experience could prove invaluable.