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Mikel, who operated in an unfamiliar No.10 role, in stark contrast to his deep-lying midfield position at Chelsea, was handed the man-of-the-match award but admitted after the game that his side had come up short in the final third and said that they will need to be sharper in front of goal if they are to reach the knockout stages.
"We are very disappointed because the opening match is very important," the 27-year-old told the press.
"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."
Next up for Nigeria are Bosnia-Herzegovina, who were beatn by Argentina in their first match, in Cuiaba on Saturday night.