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2014 FIFA World Cup™

Iran-Nigeria: Quotes

Coach Carlos Queiroz of Iran gestures
© Getty Images

Carlos Queiroz, Iran coachI am very tired. I did a lot of running in the dugout today. It was a very difficult match for us but we showed our style and our team spirit, concentration and discipline. We managed to stop them from putting their moves together in the first half. Nigeria’s big names tried to make the difference after the break and to take control of the game. That’s when we stepped our game up a level by doubling up a lot on their players. The fans didn’t see any goals but sometimes intensity, togetherness, focus and team spirit can make for an interesting spectacle. 

Stephen Keshi, Nigeria coachWe wanted to score in the first 20 minutes, but they defended in numbers and we couldn’t get through. When you get that type of situation, you can get wound up because you just want to score, and to do that you need to stay calm. You have to give Iran their due. They decided to play that way and their game-plan worked for them.

John Obi Mikel, Budweiser Man of the MatchWe are very disappointed because the opening match is very important. We looked for the win, but Iran knew what we wanted to do and put 11 men behind the ball. They managed to stop us from playing our game. We’ll have to create more chances in our next match and be sharp in front of goal.