World Cup Today: France clash with Nigeria, Germany take on Algeria

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WORLD CUP TODAY: MONDAY, JUNE 30

This is turning out to be the tournament that just keeps on giving. Long may that continue. Penalty shootout drama between Greece and Costa Rica, plus a dramatic late win for the Netherlands over Mexico, made Sunday a right humdinger.

On Monday the round of 16 continues as two European powerhouse face off against African upstarts. France play Nigeria, then Germany face Algeria, as a day of drama, excitement and potential upsets awaits.

France have been on fire so far, scoring eight goals and topping their group. As for Nigeria, they are delighted to be in the knockout round for the first-time since 1998. In the other match-up, much fancied Germany take on the Desert Foxes in what should be an intriguing battle in Porto Alegre.

Let’s take a look at both encounters, up close.

MATCH 53: FRANCE VS. NIGERIA

Location: Estádio Nacional, Brasilia
Time: Noon ET
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Cheater’s Guide

France have recovered from the embarrassment in 2010 superbly, smashing five past Switzerland and three past Honduras in the group stage. Karim Benzema has three goals to his name and will prove to be a real handful for Nigeria. The Super Eagles will be looking to their ‘keeper Vincent Enyeama (he made more saves than any other goalkeeper in the group stages with 18) to thwart the French in Brazil’s capital city.

What they’re saying

French midfielder Yohan Cabaye is warning against arrogance: “Confidence shouldn’t become arrogance because that’s when you have problems.”

History

They have only played once before, Nigeria winning a friendly 1-0 in St Etienne back in 2009.

Premier League Players

France: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Moussa Sissokho (Newcastle), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Loic Remy (QPR).

Nigeria: John Obi MikelVictor Moses (Chelsea); Peter Odemwingie (Stoke City)

RELATED: World Cup news, analysis from Soccerly

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MATCH 54: GERMANY VS. ALGERIA
Location: Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre
Time: 4 p.m. ET
SOCCERLY PREVIEW | SOCCERLY MATCHCENTER

source: Getty Images
Can Germany’s attackers spark back into life vs. Algeria?

Cheater’s guide

Germany’s offense exploded in a 4-0 win over Portugal in their World Cup opener, but a 2-2 draw vs. Ghana and unconvincing 1-0 win over the U.S. have followed. Head coach Joachim Low has asked his side to improve, as Das Mannschaft aim to make their ninth-straight World Cup quarterfinal. As for Algeria, they have never made it to the knockout stages of a World Cup. Anything is a bonus for the Desert Foxes whose staunch defensive display surprise everyone in the group stages. Algeria are claiming this game is all about revenge, as they call Germany’s 1-0 win over Austria in the 1982 World Cup (a result which meant both Germany and Austria advanced at Algeria’s expense) the ‘Disgrace of Gijon.’ There will be no love lost in this battle.

What they’re saying

German coach Low is upset by the ‘Disgrace of Gijon’ comments: “I find it irritating when I read that this is a match about vengeance. Why should players who weren’t even born then want revenge? Maybe some on the other side want to make an issue out of it to motivate Algeria.”

History

Algeria have faced Germany twice … and they’ve won both times. 2-1 during their 1982 World Cup match, as they became the first African side to beat a European nation. They also won a friendly 2-0 back in 1964.

Premier League players

Germany: Per Mertesacker, Mesut Özil, Lukas Podolski (Arsenal); André Schürrle (Chelsea)

Algeria: Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham Hotspur)

FA Cup: Chelsea survive trip to Hull, advance to 5th round (video)

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With their 2-1 victory away to EFL Championship side Hull City, Chelsea joined Leicester City, Sheffield United and Norwich City as Premier League sides to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

[ FA CUP ROUNDUP: West Ham bounced; Sheff Utd, Norwich advance ]

Frank Lampard‘s side got off to a flying start courtesy of Michy Batshuayi‘s deflected finish in the 6th minute, and the Blues were well on their way to a first half of total dominance.

Hull looked more prepared for a fight after halftime, but it mattered very little after Fikayo Tomori was gifted a free header two yards off the goal line. Ross Barkley‘s free kick was well placed at the back post and there was nothing that anyone could do to stop it.

[ MORE: Report: Spurs, Inter close to deal for Christian Eriksen ]

Hull pulled the game back to 2-1 in the 78th minute, and they were more than a little fortunate in how they managed to do so. Kamil Grosicki smacked a free kick with plenty of power and got the deflection of all deflections to wrong-foot Willy Caballero and find the back of the net.

The draw for the fifth round will be held on Monday at 2:20 p.m. ET, prior to kickoff of Bournemouth v. Arsenal.

FA Cup roundup: West Ham bounced; Sheff Utd, Norwich advance (video)

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A roundup of all of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round (early) action…

[ MORE: Saints hit Spurs late to force 4th-round replay ]

The draw for the fifth round will be held on Monday at 2:20 p.m. ET, prior to kickoff of Bournemouth v. Arsenal.

West Ham United 0-1 West Bromwich Albion

West Ham were the lone Premier League side to be knocked out by a lower-division side on Saturday, as David Moyes‘ side failed to find the back of the net and were beaten 1-0 by EFL Championship leaders West Brom.

Conor Townsend scored the game’s only goal in the 9th minute, and though the Hammers controlled possession the rest of the way, they created very little in terms of scoring chances and finished the game with just three shots on target. West Brom finished the game with 10 men, but West Ham could do nothing with their 18-minute advantage following Semi Ajayi‘s second yellow card in the 72nd minute.

Millwall 0-2 Sheffield United

Sheffield United’s dream season continued with a comfortable 2-0 victory away to Championship side Millwall. Both goals came inside the final half-hour, but the Blades were unquestionably the better side even before breaking the deadlock.

That came in the 62nd minute, when Muhamed Besic placed a stunning curler inside the far post for 1-0. Not long before full-time, in the 84th, Oliver Norwood drove his effort hard and low and into the corner to make it 2-0.

Burnley 1-2 Norwich City

Norwich and Burnley were largely inseparable for the majority of Saturday’s clash at Turf Moor, save for a four-minute period early in the second half in which Norwich scored twice and booked their place in the fifth round.

Grant Hanley made it 1-0 in the 53rd and Josip Drmic added to the advantage in the 57th minute. Erik Pieters pulled Burnley back to within a goal in the 73rd, but that’s as close as the Clarets would get.

FA Cup fourth-round scoreboard

Southampton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur — FULL RECAP
Newcastle United 0-0 Oxford United
Portsmouth 4-2 Barnsley
Coventry City 0-0 Birmingham City
Reading 1-1 Cardiff City

RB Leipzig beaten, Bundesliga title race thrown wide open

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BERLIN (AP) Eintracht Frankfurt defeated Bundesliga leader RB Leipzig 2-0 to throw the title race wide open on Saturday.

[ MORE: Report: Spurs, Inter close to deal for Christian Eriksen ]

Frankfurt defender Almamy Toure scored a brilliant goal just after the break and Filip Kostic sealed the win in injury time to deal Leipzig its first defeat since a 2-1 loss at home to Freiburg in October.

Borussia Monchengladbach cut the gap at the top to two points with a 3-1 win at home over Mainz, thanks largely to goals in each half from French striker Alassane Plea.

Bayern Munich has the chance to cut the gap to one point with a win at home over Schalke in the late game.

[ FA CUP: Saints hit Spurs late to force 4th-round replay ]

Borussia Dortmund is just four points off the top after its 5-1 win over Cologne on Friday.

Also Saturday, Union Berlin defeated Augsburg 2-0 at home, Hertha Berlin came from behind to win 2-1 at Wolfsburg, and Paderborn moved off the bottom with a 2-0 win at Freiburg.

FA Cup: Saints hit Spurs late to force 4th-round replay

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Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur played to a virtual stand-still for nearly 60 minutes before Jose Mourinho’s side broke through with a moment of true quality from Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso, but finished right back where they started after Saints hit back late to force a replay in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

[ MORE: Report: Spurs, Inter close to deal for Christian Eriksen ]

Prior to that, Lo Celso put the ball in the back of the net and briefly thought it was he who had put Spurs ahead, but the Argentine was denied his third Spurs goal on the basis that the ball hit Son on its way through traffic, and the South Korean was in an offside position.

Spurs’ best chance of the first half chance came and went just minutes later, with Lucas Moura in disbelief and Angus Gunn the hero of the moment. Dele Alli played Lucas into open space inside the penalty area and, with the goal gaping to Gunn’s left and right, Lucas looked to place his right-footed shot inside the far post. Gunn was up to the challenge, though, and pulled off a sensational left-footed save from close range.

Seconds later, Saints had a surefire scoring chance and were denied in equally spectacular fashion. Danny Ings used his chest to control a free kick into the box and looped it goal-bound over the head of Hugo Lloris, only for Japhet Tanganga to make the last-second headed clearance in front of an open net.

[ MORE: Mourinho in favor of PL’s winter break, but says timing all wrong ]

Saints were the first to go ever so close to a goal in the second half. Michael Obafemi crossed from the right side and found Ings inside the six-yard box, where he redirected the ball ever so slightly, but not enough, to send it inches wide of Lloris’ right-hand post.

Following a spell that was all Saints to start the second half, Spurs broke the deadlock through Son in the 58th minute. Lo Celso drove through the heart of Southampton’s midfield before playing the ball to Son near the top of the 18-yard box. He took a touch to set up the shot and fired a left-footed arrow inside the far post.

The lead lasted just shy of 30 minutes, close but not quite over the finish line. With 87 minutes on the clock and a full head of steam over the preceding quarter-hour, Southampton got their hugely deserved equalizer. Sofiane Boufal arrived near the top of the box as Ings’ cut-back ball arrived and the Moroccan international hammered it home.

The two sides will meet again for their fourth-round replay in two weeks at the Tottenham Hotspur. The draw for the fifth round will be held on Monday at 2:20 p.m. ET, prior to kickoff of Bournemouth v. Arsenal.