Nigeria and Iran played out the first draw and also the first scoreless draw of this year's World Cup Finals. It was a game that will certainly not have managed to catch the imagination of the public as boos greeted the full time whistle in the Arena de Baixada.
The 2014 World Cup has been one of the best in recent memory however there was always bound to be a poor spell of football on the horizon. That was unfortunately what greeted viewers on Monday evening during the first half of Iran and Nigeria.
Nigeria lost centre back Godfey Oboadbona to injury before the half hour mark but with Joseph Yobo coming on as his replacement the unplanned for early change did not cause manager Stephen Keshi much concern.
The opening 35 minutes or so yielded almost no goal bound action. Nigeria controlled possession in the early phases but it was Iran who had one of the half's better chances as Ashkan Dejageh connected well with a corner kick to force Vincent Enjeama into a solid save in the Nigerian save
With the first few minutes of the second half still not igniting the Nigerian strike force into action a change was made as Shola Ameobi made his World Cup entrance in place of Victor Moses.
Iran did on occasion get into promising positions in the second half but the end delivery into the box was always just not up to standard. The more fancied Nigeria on the other hand were proving to be a real disappointment as their long ball tactics and poor crosses meant they were also no closer to finding an opener.
As the last ten minutes of the game beckoned Iran seemed to be growing in confidence as it appeared the minnows could possibly cause a shock at this World Cup Finals. Andraik Teymourian brought his country's excitable fans to their feet with his effort from outside the box that whizzed wide.
In the final few minutes it appeared more and more likely that we were heading to not only the first draw of this years World Cup but also the first scoreless draw of the tournament so far. Ameobi got a header on target late on but apart from that neither side's keeper was forced to work too hard in what was a desperately poor game.
Iran: Alireza Haghighi, Amir Hossein Sadiqi, Jalal Hosseeini, Pejman Montazeri, Mehrdad Pouladi; Ehsan Hajsafi, Javad Nekounam, Andraik Teymourian; Ashkan Dejagh (Hashem Beykzadeh 78), Reza Ghoochannejhad, Khosro Heydari (Masoud Shojaei 89).
Subs Not Used: Rahman Ahmadi, Ahmad Alenemeh, Karim Ansarifard, Steven Beitashour, Daniel Davari, Ghasem Hadadifar, Reza Haghighi, Alireza Jahanbakshs, Hossein Mahini, Bakhtiar Rahmani
Booked: Andraik Teymourian (75)
Nigeria: Vincent Enjeama, Efe Ambrose, Godfrey Oboabona (Joseph Yobo 29), Kenneth Omeruo, Juwon Oshaniwa; Ramon Azeez (Peter Odemwingie 69), John Obi Mikel, Ogenyi Onazi; Ennabuel Emenike, Victor Moses (Shola Ameobi 52) , Ahmed Musa.
Subs Not Used: Chigozie Agbim, Michel Babatunde, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Austin Ejide, Reuben Gabriel, Uche Nwofor, Kunle Odunlami, Michael Uchebo, Ejike Uzoenyi
Referee: Carlos Vera (Ecuador)
Extratime.com Man Of The Match: Shola Ameobi (Nigeria) - No one deserved it but Ameobi had the best of the chances after coming on.
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