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Nigeria held 0-0 by Iran in World Cup's first draw

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 16, 2014 at 5:26 pm •  Published: June 16, 2014
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Keshi, who played for Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup, is already anticipating a backlash after the draw.

"Win or lose I'm criticized," said Keshi, whose side won last year's Africa Cup of Nations. "A draw now, I'll be criticized. It's part of the game. In my country, it's win at all costs and sometimes it doesn't go that way."

The best chance either side has to progress in the tournament is to beat debutant Bosnia-Herzegovina, as Argentina is the firm favorite to top the group. Lionel Messi scored one of the tournament's best goals in Argentina's 2-1 victory over the Bosnians on Sunday.

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said the result was "fair" and that his players deserved "sympathy and respect" for performing on the biggest stage despite the impact of economic sanctions on the country — which made it difficult to arrange friendlies.

"We're not here to perform the role of the happy loser," Queiroz said. "The fans need to know the conditions we have endured for three years to get here."

Queiroz wouldn't talk about the team's next game against Argentina.

"Now I'm so tired just let me enjoy this point we collected from Nigeria," he said.

The draw means the winless World Cup runs of both teams continues, dating back to France 1998. For Iran, though, this was the first time it had not conceded a goal at the World Cup finals.

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Paul Logothetis contributed to this report.