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Nigeria, Iran kick-off World Cup campaigns with dull stalemate
On their respective debuts in the 2014 World Cup, African champions Nigeria and Iran both failed to score to mark the end of a 12-match streak of continuous goals in Brazil.
Nigeria XI: Enyeama, Ambrose, Oshaniwa, Oboabona, Omeruo, Mikel, Onazi, Azeez, Musa, Moses, Emenike.
Iran XI: Haghighi, Heydari, Haji Safi, Hosseini, Sadeghi, Nekounam, Teymourian, Montazeri, Ghoochannejad, Dejagah, Pooladi.
The match started with absolute Nigerian domination with many ambitious balls attempted, however, that only lasted for under 20 minutes as frustration grew among their players due to the strong Iranian defense.
Though Nigeria controlled the whole first half, they were only able to threaten Iran through a surprising free-kick by Ahmed Musa.
On the other hand, Team Melli had the most significant goal scoring opportunity of the game in the 33rd minute through a header by Reza Ghoochannejad from a corner-kick.
The second half wasn’t so different from the first as the Super Eagles continued with their unorganized control and Iran stuck to defending without showing any intentions to attack.
Stephen Keshi tried to revive his team by subbing-on Shola Ameobi and Peter Odemwiengie for Obi Mikel and Ramon Azeez, but all his attempts weren’t successful enough to produce a goal as the score remained scoreless until the end of the match.
Nigeria will next face Bosnia & Herzegovina on Saturday June 21st (18:00 local time).