By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Iran and Nigeria recorded the first goalless draw of the World Cup at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba this afternoon. In a game of little quality and even fewer authentic chances, the fans inside the stadium showed their dissatisfaction, booing both sides loudly at the final whistle.
There were too many simple mistakes from both sets of players in what was easily the worst game of the tournament to date. The stalemate means the average goals per game ration falls from 3.4 to 3.1
Fans had been excited before kick-off at the first World Cup game to be held at the Baixada. According to Brazilian broadcaster Fox Sports, over half the 37,000 strong crowd was made up of locals rather than supporters of either nation.
The goalless draw means both side have secured a point, but after Bosnia’s strong display against Argentina yesterday both sides will do well to get anything from their remaining two group games.
Nigeria were marginally the better side and enjoyed the most clear cut goalscoring opportunities. Central midfielder John Obi Mikel tried to propel his team forward, but there was not enough of a cutting edge up front to take advantage of his passing vision.
The supporters voted with their feet with hundreds leaving several minutes before the final whistle was blown. Shola Ameobi went close for Nigeria in injury time but in truth neither side deserved to take all three points on a disappointing afternoon for the tournament.
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