"The goal freed us up. I'm happy for the team and the whole of France."
Brasilia, July 1 - Juventus star Paul Pogba hailed his France teammates after the midfielder's late goal fired Les Bleus to the FIFA World Cup quarters after a 2-0 victory over Nigeria here Monday.
The Juventus midfielder struck with a 79th-minute header to earn France a quarterfinal clash in Rio de Janeiro July 4, reports Xinhua.
Joseph Yobo then scored an own goal in the first minute of stoppage time to kill of any hope of a Nigerian comeback.
I was man of the match today, but I wish I could share it with everybody because, thanks to everybody, we won this game and I was able to win this award, Pogba said.
Pogba has been a pivotal member of Didier Deschamps' team during their four matches so far this tournament.
He has played 264 minutes and averages 86 passes per game with an accuracy of 83 percent.
The 21-year-old former Manchester United striker described the goal as the finest moment of his career to date.
I don't have words for it. I know that there is a whole country behind us, they support us, Pogba said.
The goal freed us up. I'm happy for the team and the whole of France.
It's the best feeling of my career, scoring for my country. Moreover, in such an important game, it's one of the best moments of my life. It was a dream to score at a World Cup.