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FIFA World Cup 2014 Iran v/s Nigeria: Competitive game ends at Iran 0-0 Nigeria; first draw of the tournament

Tuesday, 17 June 2014 - 2:16am IST Updated: Tuesday, 17 June 2014 - 2:19am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk
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FULL - TIME We get the first goalless draw of the tournament in the 13th game. Iran 0-0 Nigeria. Iran were strong on defence and Nigeria attacked from the word go, but none managed to convert any chances

90 + 2' Iran get a free kick, but a header taken from the kick doesn't connect well and the game now looks set for a draw

2 extra minutes have been provided

90' Mikel gets a corner, but his shot is way over the goal

87' The yellow card must have NEARLY left the referee's pocket several times during the night, so intense is the gameplay - and yet so poor in quality

86' A desperate lack of quality on show in the last third of the game. Neither of these teams look like beating Bosnia-Herzegovina quite frankly, let alone challenge Argentina. Group F could be a very easy one to guess

83' Mikel! Mikel takes the ball on the shoulder from a long pass and then attempts a cross, but the ball flies JUST wide of the goal again on the right side. Wow. So many chances for both Iran and Nigeria go unconverted

82' Almost a goal! Teymourian on the charge, and as he gets near the penalty area attempts a swift kick, but the ball goes just wide of the right post

81' Mikel with a long kick from the Nigerian side, finds a forward, but he in turn gets dispossessed by an Iranian defender

79' Nigeria have been "all pace and no delivery" as a fan puts it on Twitter

78' Iran - Degajah is substituted for Beikzadeh

76' Ogenyi Onazi attempts the kick from the centre, he's on target but the Iranian goalkeeper makes a decent save diving forward

75' Yellow card for Adranik Teymourian of Iran and Nigeria get a free kick

75' 15 minutes left in the game and we are still at 0-0

70' Brilliant cross from Nigeria from the right flank but the header from the penalty area from Shola Amoebi misses its mark and flies wide to the right of the goal

68' Iran are starting to enjoy another small period of dominance here

66' Nigeria get a free kick but can't make much of it

64' The Nigerian fans are now starting to boo their own team as the game gets uninteresting

63' Heydari of Iran gets a pass down the right flank and tries a cross, but can't beat the Nigerian defence

62' Mikel takes a hard shot from the centre but gets blocked by the Iranian defence

60' Neither team has been able to change their gameplan after the break so far

59' Emenike slices wide of the right post even as he gets a clear shot into the goal in the inside right channel

57' Iran are making life tough for Nigeria even though Nigeria hold 65% possession so far

55' Shola Ameobi gets substituted for Victor Moses

HALF-TIME Both Iran and Nigeria have failed to score in the first half, though Nigeria have been particularly aggressive. The brilliant save by the Nigerian keeper was the best chance of the match so far.

And these two minutes produce nothing. 

45' Two minutes of added time has been allowed.

42' Musa squeezes a pass into the box from the right side but is easily cleared

38' Neither Iran nor Nigeria have been able to string more than four passes together. They are instead trying to go over the top of the defence, a tactic that is not working

34' Ghoochannejhad bullets a header towards goal, but the Nigerian keeper reacts brilliantly to beat the attempt away! Biggest chance of the match so far.

33' Iran are starting to find some foothold in the match

31' Good stop by the Iranian keeper Haghighi! A swift kick from the left flank almost took the ball into the goal, but Haghighi dived to his right to save it just in time. That was a really good kick from Musal.

30' Oboabona is coming off limping again. He might be out of the match for good this time

25' Oboabona is back on the field for Nigeria after some attention from the physio

24' A wild kick by a Nigerian midfielder takes the ball all the way out of play on the Iranian side

22' Ghana's Emenike looks to bully Hosseini down the left side but the latter holds his own. Good defence from Iran

19' Nigeria's No 14 Godfrey Oboabona is being stretchered out. Not sure for what reason, as he hardly seems to have hurt himself during a header. He's clutching his head! Oh, he seems to have landed badly on his ankle

15' Nigeria continue to dominate the midfield after a brief period of Iranian revival. Iran seem to have no clue about how to attack tonight

13' Iran direct a free kick from the right, but Ghoochannejhad cannot put the header into the goal

11' Though Iran are getting men behind the ball, the Nigerians are playing very well in the midfield. The possession stands at 30-70 to Nigeria right now

7' Nigeria are being very aggressive here. A sliding kick from the forward in the penalty area is barely stopped by the keeper. Another attempt from the centre flies wide of the goal to the left

6' A lot of long balls being played in the early going as Nigeria look to heap up the pressure

4' The ball has already been thumped thrice in the air about 30 feet. This is Iran's main strength - aerial shots

3' Quite a fast-paced game so far as both teams vie for possession in the early going

1' The whistle sounds and the match is underway

The anthems are over and we are good to begin. After the 4-0 blowout of Portugal by Germany, this seems to be a very low key affair, but the fans seem to be really up for this one

Nigeria subs: Yobo, Uzoenyi, Gabriel, Egwuekwe, Odemwingie, Odunlami, Ejide, Babatunde, Nwofor, Uchebo, Agbim, Ameobi

Iran subs: Ahmadi, Shojaei, Haghighi, Reza Jahanbakhsh, Ansarifard, Haddadifa, Mahini, Alenemeh, Rahmani, Beikzadeh, Beitashour, Davari

The national anthems have begun

Nigeria (4-2-3-1): Enyeama; Ambrose, Omeruo, Oboabona, Oshaniwa; Onazi, Mikel; Musa, Azeez, Moses; Emenike

Iran (4-4-1-1): Haghighi; Montazeri, Hosseini, Sadeghi, Pouladi; Heydari, Nekounam, Teymourian, Hajsafi; Dejagah; Ghoochannejhad

Both sides have strong central midfields, so it may be a question of who makes the difference out of Nigeria's John Obi Mikel and Iran's Javad Nekounam

The team squads are out:

 

 

Iran v/s Nigeria kicks off from Curitiba at 12:30 am. Both teams will be desperate to win the match, given that they are minnows placed in the tough Group F which includes Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

With Argentina almost certain to proceed to the Round of 16, especially after a hard-fought win against Bosnia-Herzegovina, only the second place is really up for grabs. However, the way Bosnia played on Sunday certainly makes them favourites for that spot. This is why the Iran-Nigeria encounter becomes so crucial for both teams.

This is Nigeria's fifth World Cup, and the fourth for Iran, who qualified for the tournament thanks to their mean defence, which conceded just five goals in 10 Asian qualifying matches. For the complete match preview, click here

Having won the 2013 African Nations Cup and the 2013 Under-17's World Cup Nigeria are the flag-bearers of the African continent and their authoritative coach Stephen Keshi is hoping a certain stability in the national game means they can target the quarter-finals. John Obi Mikel is a key player in the Nigerian squad. He is on the duty to hold the midfield for the team. Read his complete profile here

Nigeria are slight favourites going into the match. Read the full Nigeria team profile here

Iran is the highest-ranked Asian team, with a ranking of 43. Charlton’s Reza Ghoochannejhad will be the key man for Iran. Read the complete Iran team profile here

 




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