Monday, June 16, 2014 10:45 pm
Nigeria opened her 2014 World Cup campaign with an underwhelming goalless draw against Iran, the first match to finish without a goal at the ongoing mundial.
The Super Eagles began the match with intent in their play, puting pressure on their Iranian opponents but failing to create clearcut chances as the final balls let Nigeria down while Fernabahce striker Emmanuel Emenike was anonymous.
Intent soon turned to rash haste for Nigeria as the first half wore on, allowing the Iranians to grow in composure and make forward forays though Vincent Enyeama was barely troubled in the Nigeria goal.
That trend continued in the second half until the introduction of Osaze Odemwingie who added some purpose to the forward plays of Nigeria but still was unable to break the deadlock for Nigeria.
The best chance of the game fell to another substitute Shola Ameobi, who did well to get in front of his marker only to send his header from close range off target.
Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi also had a tame shot easily saved by Iran goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi as the match petered out to a disappointing stalemate.
The result leaves Nigeria without a World Cup win since defeating Bulgaria in the 1998 World Cup, while on the contrary this is the first ever cleansheet achieved by Iran in a World Cup match.
Nigeria will face Bosnia-Herzegovina next on Sunday, with both sides now needing a win from the match to boost their chance of progressing to the knockout phase. Bosnia, in their first World Cup, earlier lost 2-1 to Argentina.