Nigeria drop 2 points

Nigeria drop 2 points
Emenike says confidence back in Eagles thanks to Enyeama and Yobo

by Samm Audu

Monday Jun 16, 2014. 23:04

African champions Nigeria drew 0-0 with Iran in their opening Group F match at the 2014 World Cup on Monday night in Curitiba.

This means that both teams are yet to win a match at the World Cup since 1998, when Nigeria pipped Bulgaria 1-0 and Iran stopped USA 2-1.

It was the 13th match of Brazil 2014 and it was also the first draw and the first match that did not produce any goals.

The biggest chances of this encounter fell for both teams in the first half.

Iran goalkeeper Haghighi kept out a hurriedly taken free kick by Ahmed Musa after 31 minutes.

And in the 35th minute, Vincent Enyeama pulled off a sensational save when he dived full length to stop a goal-bound header by Charlton Athletic striker Reza.

Nigeria bossed this match, enjoying more of the ball, but they just could not find their way past the packed Iranian defence.

Super Eagles started on a bright note, going straight into the attack in the third minute, when Victor Moses had his shot saved.

Ahmed Musa put the goal into the net in the seventh minute, but the effort was disallowed due to Mikel's foul on Haghighi.

Musa was stopped from hitting target in the ninth minute off Emenike's cross.

Eagles were dominant in the early minute of the game, but the Iranians settled in and gradually took the game to their opponents.

Ogenyi Onazi fired wide in 19th minute from inside the 18 yards.

It was a ding dong affair as both teams tried to break away, Nigeria best chance in the second half fell on Shola Ameobi who failed to hit off Juwon Oshaniwa's cross in the 70th minute.

Four minutes later, Onazi fired a weak shot from 22yards which was well gathered by Haghighi in goal for Iran.

In the 77th minute, Dejagah failed to hit target with a header. He tormented the Eagles so much for the 78 minutes he was on the pitch.

Iran defended massively to deny Emenike clear cut at goal.

Ameobi was denied contact with Musa cross in the 89th minute by an Iran defender.

Ameobi headed the resulting corner towards goal only for it to be cleared off the line.

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