Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo says the country’s penultimate Group F game against debutantes Bosnia-Hercegovina will be lot more open.
Iran forced Nigeria to a dour draw at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba on Monday, despite the latter enjoying much of the possession.
The Super Eagles will battle for a place in the knock-out stage of the World Cup against Europeans, Bosnia, at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba on Saturday.
Both nations, in their first meeting at senior international level, will be looking to improve their chances of advancing into the round of 16.
Bosnia lost 2-1 to Argentina in their opening group game, and knows anything short of a win endangers their chances of emulating their African counterparts by reaching the second round in their first appearance.
“It will be an open game against Bosnia, who lik us will be looking for their first win of the competition,” said Yobo, who came on as a replacement for the injured Godfrey Oboabona for his 98th appearance for the Eagles.
“I thought we played well against Iran, but we found it difficult to penetrate them. They always had 10 men behind the ball. Teams are defending well in this tournament.
“We now have to be more creative and believe in ourselves, if we don’t, we only have ourselves to blame.”
However, Coach Stephen Keshi is yet to win a game against European opponents since taking over the reins of the Nigerian team in 2011.
The country’s A Team, who are yet to win a game since clinching a fifth World Cup ticket in a 2-0 win over Ethiopia in November, failed to hit the ground running against Iran on Monday.
Nigeria have recovered from slow starts in their previous two tournaments- the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) and the African Nations Championship (CHAN)- but the set-up of their other group opponents remain a threat.
Bosnia are a side with sharp shooters and quick attackers, who would as well be out for the kill in the crucial game.
A win for either side does their hopes of joining Argentina a good, as Enrique Sabella’s men are considered mismatch for Iran in the other group match. A draw drags the battle for survival into the last day of group matches, when Nigeria battle perennial rivals Argentina and Bosnia take on Iran.