Half-Time Report: Nigeria, Iran fail to break deadlock

Nigerian Coach Stephen Keshi in the dugout for a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Calabar in November 16, 2013
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Nigeria and Iran fail to break the deadlock in the first half of their Group F clash in Curitiba.

Nigeria and Iran have failed to break the deadlock in a goalless first half in Curitiba.

The African champions started brightly, with Victor Moses causing problems early on before testing Alireza Haghighi with a drilled effort from just outside the box.

Ogenyi Onazi was inches away from opening the scoring for Nigeria, but he could only send a shot just wide after some unconvincing goalkeeping from Haghighi inside the box.

Nigeria dominated possession for most of the first half, and it was only Iran's determination to keep men behind the ball which made life difficult for the attacking players on the pitch.

Iran came close to taking the lead against the run of play when Reza Ghoochannejhad lost his marker inside the box, but Vincent Enyeama reacted impressively to keep his header out.

There were clear signs that Carlos Queiroz's side were improving as Nigeria struggled to break down a stubborn defence in a largely uneventful first half.

Iran national football team coach, Carlos Queiroz, arrives for the final draw of the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, in Costa do Sauipe, Bahia state, Brazil, on December 6, 2013
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