Skip to content

Short on goals, chances, Nigeria and Iran play to 2014 World Cup’s first draw

Jun 16, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT

nigeria_iran AP

The first draw of the World Cup is a scoreless one, with one of the least-anticipated matches of Brazil 2014 living up ito its almost non-existent expectations. After a game nearly as devoid of chances as goals, Iran and Nigeria finished as they started in Curitiba, with both teams earning a point in a 0-0 draw.

Nigeria’s closest opportunity came in the ninth minute when shots from Ahmed Musa and Ogneyi Onazi implied the Super Eagles were in for chance-filled evening. That implication proved false, with the match’s only other good change coming off an Iranian corner in the 39th minute.

After a tournament whose first nine games produced the highest goal rate since 1958, the meeting was a disappointment – a let down that’s reflected in the teams’ schedules. With Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina ahead for both, Iran and Nigeria ended their best chance for full points with feckless performance.

Both teams continue their World Cups on Saturday, with Iran facing group favorites Argentina in the day’s early game in Belo Horizonte. Nigeria faces Bosnia and Herzegonvina in Cuiabá in a match neither team can afford to lose.

[ RELATED: World Cup news, analysis from Soccerly ]

Nigeria controlled play from the opening whistle and looked set to go in front in the ninth minute when Emmanuel Emenike created a chance for Musa. The close range opportunity, saved by Alireza Haghighi, gave way to a second chance for Onazi, though the midfielder pulled his shot wide of Haghighi’s right post.

The rest of the half saw a reserved but stalwart Iran cede possession in favor of organization, a tactic that turned into a solution as the Super Eagles were held without a another chance before halftime. Iran, on the other half, nearly took a surprise lead when a 39th minute corner tested the reflexes of Vincent Enyeama after a headed shot from Reza Ghoochanneijad. The Iranians would go into halftime with only 29 percent possession, but they held the Nigerians to two shots on target.

The second half saw the Iranians flip the script, recording five shots over the period’s first 20 minutes as they pursued full points. Though Nigeria continued their monopoly of the ball, they rarely tested Haghighi. Despite a let push, Nigeria put only two shots on target over the final 45 minutes.

For all their renewed vigor, however, Iran couldn’t do better. Though Carlos Queiroz’s team ended the match with nearly as many shots (10-9, Nigeria), their second half ambition failed to produce breakthrough. Enyeama was not called on again after Ghoochanneijad’s corner.

As a result, both teams were left with a draw from a match they should have approached as a must-win. With Group F’s favorites coming up for each, neither Iran nor Nigeria are going to have a better chance at points than they had in Curitiba. Yet come full-time, both teams lacked the ingenuity to prevent the tournament’s first scoreless draw.

LINEUPS:

Iran: Haghighi, Heydari (Shojaei 89′), Haji Safi, Hosseini, Sadeghi, Nekounam, Timotian, Montazeri, Ghoochannejad, Dejagah (Jahanbakhsh 78′), Pooladi

Nigeria: Enyeama; Ambrose, Omeruo, Oboabona (Yobo 29′), Oshaniwa; Onazi, Mikel; Musa, Azeez (Odemwingie (69′), Moses (Ameobi 52′); Emenike

 

Latest Posts
  1. Arsenal’s defending depth fears could be on display against Dortmund

    Sep 16, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

    Sky Sports Sky Sports

    Know the name Hector Bellerin? Odds are you will after today’s match-up between Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal.

  2. Rio: Twenty mins after David Moyes was fired, lads wanted banned fish and chips back

    Sep 16, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    The Telegraph The Telegraph

    With all the post-match fish-and-chips testing done around the Premier League, they couldn’t just, you know, eat fish and chips and get away with it.

  3. UEFA Champions League group stage: PST staff’s preview and predictions

    Sep 16, 2014, 9:36 AM EDT

    Portugal Soccer Champions League Final AP

    Who picked Manchester City to win its tough group, and who said they’d fail to survive their opposition?

  4. Swiss goalkeeper drinks urine, considering law suit against pranksters

    Sep 16, 2014, 8:48 AM EDT

    TeleM1 TeleM1

    How was this caper achieved? Was a security guard in on the act? Was an identical water bottle substituted?

  5. Benteke boost for 2nd place Aston Villa; training, could be back soon

    Sep 16, 2014, 7:22 AM EDT

    Aston Villa v Norwich City - Premier League Getty Images

    Villa will take on Arsenal without Christian Benteke this weekend, but the forward could be back by the end of the month.

  6. Premier League Team of the Week: Find out who starred on Matchday 4

    Sep 15, 2014, 11:48 PM EDT

    Southampton v Newcastle United - Premier League Getty Images

    It was a week so fertile for goals that one of the world’s biggest names couldn’t dent the strike force of the PL team of the week.

  7. Premier League player of the week — Round 4

    Sep 15, 2014, 11:01 PM EDT

    Chelsea v Swansea City - Premier League Getty Images

    No one’s doing it quite like this man right now, who again takes hold of player of the week honors in the Premier League.

  8. Premier League Round 4: Goals of the week (VIDEO)

    Sep 15, 2014, 10:37 PM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    There are five goals here, but it only took four matches to comprise the list.

  9. Galaxy GK Penedo wins individual honor as four clinch Gold Cup berths

    Sep 15, 2014, 10:15 PM EDT

    Jaime Penedo AP

    Costa Rica won the tournament for the eighth time, defeating Guatemala in the final.

  10. As Pardew gets lifeline, Carragher blasts the “disgrace” at Newcastle

    Sep 15, 2014, 8:34 PM EDT

    Southampton v Newcastle United - Premier League Getty Images

    Newcastle United players and their manager have come under fire from ex-Liverpool back Jamie Carragher, who blasted the club on “Monday Night Football”

  11. Le Toux can snare second Open Cup title by beating his old club

    Sep 15, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

    Sebastien Le Toux, Tony Beltran AP

    The Sounders have three titles and won their first win Le Toux. Soccerly hosts an essay on his quest to deny them a fourth.

  12. Anelka joins Indian Super League; Uncertainty hangs over suspension

    Sep 15, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

    Mumbai_City_FC

    The English FA asked FIFA to extend Anelka’s quenelle suspension beyond Britain’s borders.

  13. 1860 Munich’s lederhosen kits are absolutely bonkers

    Sep 15, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT

    1860-lederhosen2

    Oktoberfest begins Sept. 20, and 1860 Munich is going all-in when it comes to their away attire.

  14. Hull City 2-2 West Ham United: Debut goals a-plenty in fun draw

    Sep 15, 2014, 4:53 PM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    Abel Hernandez, Enner Valencia, Mohamed Diame and Diafra Sakho all made their presences felt on NBCSN at the KC Stadium on Monday.

  15. VIDEO: Enner Valencia blazes a shot past McGregor at the KC Stadium

    Sep 15, 2014, 4:34 PM EDT

    Hull City v West Ham United - Premier League Getty Images

    Certainly one of the goals of the early season, as West Ham continues to tempt the highlight reels despite a tough start to the season.

  16. Americans Abroad wrap: Brek Shea assists in Birmingham debut (video)

    Sep 15, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT

    Birmingham City v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Getty Images

    Brek Shea had a loan debut to remember, while Julian Green had one to forget and both Tim Howard and Brad Guzan kept clean sheets.

  17. At the half: Record-signing Hernandez shining as Hull leads West Ham

    Sep 15, 2014, 3:49 PM EDT

    abel-hernandez_3006938

    Abel Hernandez has a goal and had another creation ruled offsides as the hosts rose to steal the first half with late heroics.

  18. Champions League preview: How will the four Premier League teams get on?

    Sep 15, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT

    Britain Soccer Champions League AP

    Schedules, chances of making the last 16, predictions. Your one-stop shop for all the info as the UCL group stages begins for four PL teams.

  19. Watch live: Hull City vs. West Ham United (Lineups)

    Sep 15, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Hull City v West Ham United - Premier League Getty Images

    Record-signing Abel Hernandez (Palermo) makes his Hull City debut as the Tigers look to pick up their second win of the season.

  20. Rio Ferdinand slams ex-Manchester United manager David Moyes

    Sep 15, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT

    FBL-EUR-C1-MAN UTD-BAYER LEVERKUSEN Getty Images

    Ferdinand: “It killed me. Inside I wanted to scream and grab him.”

Featured video

Week 4: Saturday recap