Nigeria 0 Iran 0 2014 World Cup
Posted: 16 June 2014 Time: 23:23
Nigeria dominated for large parts, but failed to make their possession count as they played out to a goalless draw with Iran at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba.
The Super Eagles were expected to cruise past Carlos Quieroz’s side, and for large parts of the game they threatened to do just that, but every time the final was lacking and let Iran off the hook.
In fact, Iran could have grabbed all three points but for a brilliant point-black save from Vincent Enyeama in the first half.
Victor Moses shot straight at goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi early on, before Ogenyi Onazi fired across the face of goal.
The Eagles also had the ball in the back of the net on eight minutes, but it was rightfully ruled out for Jon Obi Mikel’s foul on the goalie.
Nigeria were forced into an early change when Godfrey Oboabona hobbled off with an ankle injury, with Joseph Yobo coming on for his 98th cap.
Ahmed Musa came close on the half-hour when his clever free-kick forced Haghighi to scramble a save, but then a huge moment as Enyeama saved brilliantly from Reza Ghoochannej’s close-range header.
Shola Ameobi was introduced early in the second half and had a great chance with 20 minutes to go when Juwon Oshaniwa crossed from the left – one of the few crosses to find the target – but the Newcastle United striker could only direct his header wide.
Mikel produced a lovely flick for Ozase Odemwingie to run onto and volley just wide, though the referee wrongly adjudged him to have handled, while Ameobi came close twice in the dying second, but the Eagles could not break through as the first draw of the 2014 World Cup was played out.