Scoreless Nigeria, Iran play to tournament's first draw

Scoreless Nigeria, Iran play to tournament's first draw

World Cup 2014

Scoreless Nigeria, Iran play to tournament's first draw

IranNigeria-WorldCup2014-Getty

By RYAN TOLMICH

After 12 games, 41 goals and numerous exciting sequences, the 2014 World Cup has finally had its first clunker.

Group F’s scoreless draw between Nigeria and Iran gave this year’s tournament a set of firsts: first draw, first scoreless game and, most importantly, the first game that lacked any true excitement.

It was Nigeria that dominated most of the contest, as the African nation maintained 69 percent possession on the afternoon. However, it was a sloppy affair for both sides, as the two teams combined to put just five of their 19 shots on frame. The  contest was defined by cohesive defenses matched up with a complete lack of cohesion on offense, with opportunities few and far between for either side.

Perhaps the best opportunity of the game came in the 35th minute when Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama made the toughest save of the day from a Reza Ghoochanneijhad header right in the center of the box.

Nigeria nearly claimed all three points from a stoppage time corner via substitute Shola Ameobi, whose thumping header was cleared off the line by Iranian defender Mehrdad Pooladi.

With the draw, both sides push themselves ahead of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who fell to Argentina 2-1 last night.

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