Iran – Nigeria
16.06.2014 21:00 CET
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The thirteenth match of the World Cup will see the group F underdog Iran face off against the more dangerous Nigeria. The former qualified by a thread while the latter is counting on advancing past the group stage. More
GROUP F: Iran vs. Nigeria
The thirteenth matchup of this year’s World Cup is a faceoff between Iran and Nigeria. It should be interesting, because it’s a chance for the strong Nigerian team to get points off an easy target and have better chances at advancing to the Round of 16.
Iran’s qualifier performances were far from stellar. Not scoring a single goal in draws versus Belarus and Montenegro and only getting one in against Angola only to end the match in a draw made their 2-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago their greatest triumph – far from an achievement for a World Cup-class team.
The team’s coach, Carlos Queiroz, formerly training Manchester United, South Africa and Portugal, is planning on putting the weight of this match on the team’s strongest, Ashkan Dejagah, Fulham’s winger.
For the Nigerian team, this match is a make it or break it ENGINE situation – they don’t stand a real chance against group favorite Argentina, but are on even ground with Bosnia and Herzegovina. If Bosnians lose to Argentina and Nigerians win against Iran, then even with an Argentinian loss will still have a safe margin of error against their immediate opponents. In case of Bosnia’s win, however, they will also have ace the game against the post-Yugoslavian country.
However, the later match against Argentina may not be as hopeless as is believed – the squad has a special skill of winning against difficult opponents. In their memorable match from 16 years ago they beat Spain 3-2 during the World Cup in 1998, and since then, not much has changed.
The African Cup winner will however have to play this one without injured defenseman Elderson Echiejile, but they will feature their key player, Victor Moses, in their offensive formation.
The match at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba is not one that should surprise us. Nigeria has not advanced past the group phase for the past sixteen years, but as their continental winner and with a much better qualifier history, is named as the favorite.
This is also supported by the teams’ only immediate match, which Iran lost after suffering just one goal. The weak Middle Eastern squad is entering this mundial with hopes of not giving up all points rather than great success.
Find out more about the disposition and history of your Brazil 2014 favorites. Go to our match center and learn about this year’s World Cup participants!
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