Boos as Nigeria held 0-0 by Iran in World Cup's first draw

2014-06-16 23:22

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Curitiba, Brazil – Iran and Nigeria laboured to the first stalemate of a scintillating World Cup with a dismal 0-0 draw that left both sides still chasing their first victory at a finals since 1998.

While Iran could take some small satisfaction in keeping a clean sheet today for the first time since their debut in 1978, the  bore at the Baixada arena stood out like a suit salesman on Copacabana beach.

With Lionel Messi's Argentina, installed as clear Group F favourites, and exciting debutants Bosnia still to come, the other two look destined for an early exit unless they can raise their game considerably.

Both teams were whistled and booed off the field by the largely Brazilian crowd of 39 000 after a first half that looked shockingly meagre compared to the goal feasts served up elsewhere.

Iran packed their defence as expected and Nigeria, with Emmanuel Emenike rarely posing a threat as the main target man for the African champions, squandered their chances with long balls to nowhere and passes straight to opponents.

The Super Eagles had the ball in the back of the net after seven minutes in a goalmouth scramble but Ecuadorean referee Carlos Vera, perhaps harshly, ruled it out for a push on goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi.

Ogenyi Onazi then drilled a shot wide two minutes later.

Iran came closest to breaking the deadlock in the 33rd minute when goalkeeper captain Vincent Enyeama produced a fine save to beat out Reza Ghoochannejhad's header from their first corner of the game.

Nigeria defender Godfrey Oboabona made an early exit from the fray, replaced by former captain Joseph Yobo on the half hour after earlier receiving treatment on the touchline following a heavy tackle.

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi warned yesterday that the African sides were as good as any in Brazil and could win the tournament, but on today's evidence they will not be celebrating in Lagos.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.