June 30, 2014 / 7:05 PM / 5 years ago

Nigeria were unlucky to lose to France, says coach

Nigeria's coach Stephen Keshi cheers on his team during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against France at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi was left cursing his team’s bad luck after they conceded two late goals in a 2-0 defeat by France in the last 16 on Monday.

Nigeria fell apart near the end after having an effort from Emmanuel Emenike disallowed for offside in the first half.

“I think it was a good game, I think we had a very good game but we were just unlucky to have lost at the end,” Keshi told a news conference.

“I would love to know the reason why the referee disallowed the goal. It was not shown on TV and it was a shame.”

France took the lead after 79 minutes when midfielder Paul Pogba scored with a header after Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama flapped at Mathieu Valbuena’s corner.

Keshi refused to blame Enyeama for the goal, saying it was just a misfortune and not the reason why the Africans lost.

“What happened happened and yes it cost us big,” he said.

“When you see your team playing good football and trying to do what you ask them to do and all of a sudden it turns around and you lose the game, I don’t think we deserved to lose this way but that’s what happens in football.

“I am not going to start putting the blame on one or two people. We win as a team and we lose as a team.”

Editing by Ken Ferris

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