Keshi names strong XI for Iranian test
Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has named a considerably strong starting line-up for tonight’s Group F clash against Iran.
Chelsea defender Kenneth Omeruo shrugged of his knee problem to make the starting eleven but the other starters were expected to get a look-in.
However the only surprising player to be named by Keshi is UD Almeria’s Ramon Azeez who will form an attacking midfield triumvate alongside Ahmed Musa and Victor Moses in front of the duo of John Mikel Obi and Ogenyi Onazi.Emmanuel Emenike leads the attack.
Meanwhile the media officer of the Super Eagles Ben Alaiya has revealed that midfielder Gabriel Rueben is not injured and is rearing to play in tonight’s game if called upon by Stephen Keshi.
Nigeria XI for Iran (4-2-3-1 formation)
Enyeama; Ambrose, Oshaniwa, Oboabona, Omeruo; Onazi, Mikel; Azeez, Musa, Moses; Emenike
Iran XI for Nigeria (4-4-2 formation)
A.HAGHIGHI(GK);KH. HEYDARI, HAJI SAFI,J. HOSSEINI, AMIRHOSSEIN, J. NEKOUNAM (C); ANDRANIK, MONTAZERI, REZA;
The Super Eagles have never met their Iranian rivals at the FIFA World Cup. But Nigeria and Iran squared up once in a friendly in 1998, when Ahmed Garba’s goal secured a 1-0 win for the Super Eagles. Iran was the third country in the globe to qualify for the World Cup from the Asian qualifying zone.
Referee: Carlos VERA(Ecuador)
Assistant Referee 1: Christian LESCANO (ECU)
Assistant Referee 2: Byron ROMERO (ECU)
Fourth official: Wilmar ROLDAN (COL)
The city of Curitiba, venue of tonight’s game between Nigeria and Iran is one of the finest examples of a bulky economic and industrial development carried out with responsibility and organisation.
Iran have played nine games at the World Cup and won only one of them, a 2-1 win over USA at France ’98. They have never kept a clean sheet in any of those matches. Nigeria have never won a World Cup game since France ’98 World Cup. They were in the Round of 16 in the USA 94 and France 98 World Cups but failed to get past the group stages in the 2002 and 2010 World Cup finals.
1-Iran kicks off
2- Injjury scare for Efe
3 min- Iran have first throw-in
4 min- Mikel’s pass to Moses ends up in a tame shot at goal by the latter
5- Nigeria’s first throw-in
7 min- Emenike wins Eagles’ first corner. Nigeria scores but ref rules it out for a foul
12- Moses dribbles his way to the Iranian box but his cross goes stray
16- Mikel wins a free kick.
17-Efe’s cross gathered by Haghagi, Iran goalkeeper
20 mins – Mikel wins a free kick. Meanwhile Oboabona is being treated by the medics. The stretcher is called for and has been carried out. Not looking good. He’s strapped on the leg
22 mins – Onazi goes on a mazy run but his effort comes to no effect. Oboabona is back on the pitch
25- Ahmed Musa shoots wide, directed to nowhere; Ramon Azeez also wastes a similar chance to put Emenike clear at goal
28 min – SUB: Joseph Yobo comes in for injured Godfrey Oboabona
30 mins – Ahmed Musa’s deceptive free kick almost beats Haghigi in Iranian goal
31- Mikel fouls Reja.
38- Onazi shoots aimlessly, poor effort
45- Two minutes have been added after 45 minutes
45-Eagles kick off
47 min- Oshaniwa fouled
48 mins -Ghoochannejhad fires a shot
50 mins – Yobo gives away a freekick
51 mins – Victor Moses out for Shola Ameobi
58- Enyeama saves again
57- Mikel’s pass meets Ameobi but Emenike wastes his pass
60- Mikel loses the ball but Iran fails to capitalise
68- SUB: Odemwingie comes in for Azeez
70- Ameobi heads an Oshaniwa cross, misses goal by whiskers
75 mins – Iran’s Timothian yellow-carded for a foul on Odemwingie, Onazi shoots aimlessly
76 min- Dejagah almost scores but Enyeama to the rescue once again
81 mins – Osaze hits a fierce shot but a goal wouldn’t have counted as he was adjudged to have handled the ball
88- Iran sub: Heydari out for Shojael
89- Osaze and Musa combine well but a corner from the effort fails to yield dividends
90- 2 minutes added.
The game ends goalless(Iran 0-Nigeria 0). The first drawn game so far in the 2014 World Cup.
How would you rate the performance of the Super Eagles against Iran? Do you think this Nigerian squad can reach the Round of 16 stages?