World Cup - Group F
IranIran0NigeriaNigeria0

World Cup 2014:

By Saj ChowdhuryBBC Sport
Highlights: Iran 0-0 Nigeria

Iran and Nigeria played out the first draw of the 2014 World Cup as their Group F opener ended goalless.

Nigeria dominated possession but created few chances against a disciplined side managed by ex-Manchester United coach Carlos Queiroz.

The Super Eagles' best opportunities came in the first half, when Ogenyi Onazi fired a yard wide before Ahmed Musa went close with a free-kick.

Iran's Reza Ghoochannejad forced a great save from Vincent Enyeama.

The share of the points leaves both teams well placed in the group after Argentina defeated Bosnia-Hercegovina.

African champions Nigeria were fancied to go through with the South American giants, but the pressure is now on them to beat the section's only European side, who impressed in their first ever World Cup match on Sunday.

Iran, on the other hand, will be buoyed by this result and will be looking to cause one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history on Saturday against Argentina.

They performed diligently, with Queiroz getting the best out of a group of players who stuck rigidly to the tactics employed.

Their conservative approach, with midfielders Javad Nekounam and Andranik Timotian as an extra line of defence for the backline, frustrated Nigeria.

Stephen Keshi's side were limited to only a couple of chances despite having the lion's share of possession. The first fell to Lazio forward Onazi, who slammed his shot a foot wide before Musa almost caught out goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi with his quick thinking from a free-kick.

Ironically, Iran had the best chance to score despite their only effort on goal coming when Charlton's Ghoochannejad, who spent much of his career to date playing in the Dutch and Belgian leagues, forced a excellent reaction save from Enyeama, playing in his third World Cup.

Keshi - the mastermind behind Nigeria's unexpected Cup of Nations win last year - tinkered with his attack after the break by bringing on former Newcastle stalwart Shola Ameobi and fellow forward Peter Odemwingie of Stoke.

The tactical swaps almost paid dividends in the 71st minute, when Ameobi headed wide from eight yards, but he had conceded a foul in the process.

The former Magpie also had a chance in the closing minutes, but on this occasion his goalbound header was easily cleared by Mehrdad Pooladi.

That draw now means Nigeria have not won a World Cup match in nine attempts - the longest streak in the competition. They might need to rethink their strategy against Bosnia-Hercegovina if they do not want that run to continue.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz:

"We played against a great team and it was necessary to play a realistic game. We fought for every ball, every space and played 90 minutes with one thing in our mind. My players need to be congratulated.

"Now it's Argentina and the most important thing is that everything is open to us."

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi:

"Respect to Iran, they had their game plan to sit back and defend and they did well.

"Win or lose I'm criticized. A draw now, I'll be criticized. It's part of the game. In my country, it's win at all costs and sometimes it doesn't go that way.''

Nigeria forward Peter Odemwingie talking to BBC World Service:

"We expected three points from this game but everybody knows the most important game is between ourselves and Bosnia-Hercegovina.

"Next game I think will be easier and I think that will be the decider of where we will be at this World Cup."

Nigeria fans at the Arena Da Baixada in Curitiba
Nigeria fans made their presence felt at the Arena Da Baixada in Curitiba
Iran's Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz reacts during the Group F football match between Iran and Nigeria at the Baixada Arena in Curitiba
Iran's coach Carlos Queiroz helped his side reach their first World Cup since 2006
Nigeria's goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama makes a save during their 2014 World Cup Group F soccer match against Iran
Ghoochannejhad had one of the few good chances in the match

Line-ups

Iran

  • 12Haghighi
  • 15Montazeri
  • 23Pooladi
  • 6Nekounam
  • 4Hosseini
  • 5Sadeqi
  • 2HeydariSubstituted forShojaeiat 89'minutes
  • 14TeymourianBooked at 75mins
  • 16Ghoochanneijhad
  • 3Hajsafi
  • 21DejagahSubstituted forJahanbakhshat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Ahmadi
  • 7Shojaei
  • 8Haghighi
  • 9Jahanbakhsh
  • 10Ansarifard
  • 11Haddadifar
  • 13Mahini
  • 17Alnameh
  • 18Rahmani
  • 19Beikzadeh
  • 20Beitashour
  • 22Davari

Nigeria

  • 1Enyeama
  • 5Ambrose
  • 13Oshaniwa
  • 10Mikel
  • 22Omeruo
  • 14OboabonaSubstituted forYoboat 29'minutes
  • 7Musa
  • 17Onazi
  • 9Emenike
  • 15AzeezSubstituted forOdemwingieat 69'minutes
  • 11MosesSubstituted forAmeobiat 52'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Yobo
  • 3Uzoenyi
  • 4Gabriel
  • 6Egwuekwe
  • 8Odemwingie
  • 12Odunlami
  • 16Ejide
  • 18Babatunde
  • 19Nwofor
  • 20Uchebo
  • 21Agbim
  • 23Ameobi
Referee:
Carlos Vera
Attendance:
38,081

Match Stats

Home TeamIranAway TeamNigeria
Possession
Home31%
Away69%
Shots
Home9
Away10
Shots on Target
Home1
Away4
Corners
Home2
Away7
Fouls
Home18
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Iran 0, Nigeria 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Iran 0, Nigeria 0.

  3. Post update

    Kenneth Omeruo (Nigeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Amir Hossein Sadeqi (Iran).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Kenneth Omeruo (Nigeria).

  6. Post update

    Reza Ghoochanneijhad (Iran) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Nigeria. Conceded by Mehrdad Pooladi.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Shola Ameobi (Nigeria) header from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by John Obi Mikel with a cross.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Nigeria. Conceded by Mehrdad Pooladi.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Iran. Masoud Shojaei replaces Khosro Heydari.

  11. Post update

    John Obi Mikel (Nigeria) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Andranik Teymourian (Iran).

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Shola Ameobi (Nigeria) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Efe Ambrose with a cross.

  14. Post update

    Efe Ambrose (Nigeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Reza Ghoochanneijhad (Iran).

  16. Post update

    John Obi Mikel (Nigeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Andranik Teymourian (Iran).

  18. Post update

    Hand ball by Peter Odemwingie (Nigeria).

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Andranik Teymourian (Iran) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ehsan Hajsafi.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Juwon Oshaniwa (Nigeria).

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Brazil11003123
2Mexico11001013
3Cameroon100101-10
4Croatia100113-20

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Netherlands11005143
2Chile11003123
3Australia100113-20
4Spain100115-40

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Colombia11003033
2Ivory Coast11002113
3Japan100112-10
4Greece100103-30

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Costa Rica11003123
2Italy11002113
3England100112-10
4Uruguay100113-20

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France11003033
2Switzerland11002113
3Ecuador100112-10
4Honduras100103-30

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Argentina11002113
2Iran10100001
3Nigeria10100001
4Bos-Herze100112-10

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany11004043
2Ghana00000000
3USA00000000
4Portugal100104-40

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium00000000
2Algeria00000000
3Russia00000000
4South Korea00000000
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