The first draw of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ came on Monday afternoon, in the 13th match of the tournament. While that number brought the well-organised Asians no misfortune, the same could not be said for their African opponents, who went away with less than they had hoped for.
Chances were few and far between in the Group F match at Curitiba’s Arena da Baixada. Though the Super Eagles went into the game as favourites, on account of the experience and quality of their players, it was Team Melli who created the clearest chance of the match.
For Budweiser Man of the Match John Obi Mikel, the result was not what he wanted: “Naturally we’re disappointed because we know what it means to win your opening match at the World Cup. We thought we had a good chance of winning. We created some openings in the first half and I think we deserved to score. Iran kept us at bay, though, and they were well organised at the back.
“We need to raise our game if we want to reach the next round,” said the Chelsea midfielder, offering a frank assessment of the task facing Nigeria. “We prepared very well for this World Cup and we can’t afford to drop another point in our remaining games.”