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[Published: Tuesday June 17 2014]

World Cup Group F opener ends goalless

Brasilia, 17 Jun - (ANA) - Iran and Nigeria played out the first draw of the 2014 World Cup as their Group F opener ended goalless. Nigeria dominated possession but created few chances against a disciplined side managed by ex-Manchester United coach Carlos Queiroz. The Super Eagles' best opportunities came in the first half, when Ogenyi Onazi fired a yard wide before Ahmed Musa went close with a free-kick. Iran's Reza Ghoochannejad forced a great save from Vincent Enyeama. The share of the points leaves both teams well placed in the group after Argentina defeated Bosnia-Hercegovina. African champions Nigeria were fancied to go through with the South American giants, but the pressure is now on them to beat the section's only European side, who impressed in their first ever World Cup match on Sunday. Iran, on the other hand, will be buoyed by this result and will be looking to cause one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history on Saturday against Argentina. They performed diligently, with Queiroz getting the best out of a group of players who stuck rigidly to the tactics employed. Their conservative approach, with midfielders Javad Nekounam and Andranik Timotian as an extra line of defence for the backline, frustrated Nigeria. Stephen Keshi's side were limited to only a couple of chances despite having the lion's share of possession. The first fell to Lazio forward Onazi, who slammed his shot a foot wide before Musa almost caught out goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi with his quick thinking from a free-kick. Ironically, Iran had the best chance to score despite their only effort on goal coming when Charlton's Ghoochannejad, who spent much of his career to date playing in the Dutch and Belgian leagues, forced a excellent reaction save from Enyeama, playing in his third World Cup. (ANA)
FA/ANA/17 June 2014--------

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