World Cup 2014 review – Bosnia-Herzegovina

Quarter-finals: FranceColombiaBelgiumCosta Rica

Round of 16: ChileUruguayMexicoGreeceNigeriaAlgeriaSwitzerlandUSA
A: CroatiaCameroon B: SpainAustralia C: Ivory CoastJapan D: ItalyEngland
E: EcuadorHonduras F: BosniaIran G: PortugalGhana H: RussiaSouth Korea

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

World Cup progress: Group stage

Team rating: 5

Top scorer: DzekoIbisevicPjanicVrsajevic (1)

Bosnia were the plucky underdogs that gave more established opponents a few surprises, but that did not prove enough to get them through to the next round, writes Jeremy Lim.

Brave Bosnia bow out

World Cup debutants Bosnia-Herzegovina earned their personal set of admirers during their brief outing, but had to rue missed opportunities as they exited early.

The silky underdogs stayed true to their attacking ideals throughout. But while they outclassed Group F favourites Argentina for long periods during their opening clash, there was little they could do about a stunning LionelMessi winning strike.

Edin Dzeko proved extremely profligate against Nigeria next as the Africans edged them 1-0 to send them out. He also had a perfectly legitimate goal ruled out. The 28-year-old then rectified with his first World Cup goal past Iran, but the win that followed was just too little, too late.

The Coach – Safet Susic

Safet Susic never abandoned Bosnia’s ethos of attack, no matter the opponent. The 59-year-old knew his team’s greatest strengths lay upfront: “We never play with just one attacker. We have players in midfield who want to go forward, wingers who always participate in attacks. In any situation, we have five or six upfront.”

Player of the Tournament – Miralem Pjanic

When the real Edin Dzeko failed to show up in Brazil, Miralem Pjanicshouldered the responsibility in his stead. The playmaker bossed the midfield against Argentina, Nigeria and Iran. Had a couple more of the 12 goalscoringopportunities he laid on been converted, Bosnia could be through to the next round now.

Memorable moment

Vedad Ibisevic kept his composure to fire in a consolation through the legs of Sergio Romero despite being two down versus Argentina, thus becoming Bosnia’s first ever goalscorer in the World Cup.

Results

15-Jun-14 Argentina 2-1 Bosnia Group F
21-Jun-14 Nigeria 1-0 Bosnia Group F
25-Jun-14 Bosnia 3-1 Iran Group F
Group F P W D L F A Pts
Argentina 3 3 0 0 6 3 9
Nigeria 3 1 1 1 3 3 4
Bosnia 3 1 0 2 4 4 3
Iran 3 0 1 2 1 4 1

Squad

No Pos Player Apps Goals Assists
1 GK Asmir Begovic 3
12 GK Jasmin Fejzic
22 GK Asmir Avdukic
4 D Emir Spahic 3
7 D Muhamed Besic 3
15 D Toni Sunjic 2
5 D Sead Kolasinac 2
13 D Mensur Mujdza 2
3 D Ermin Bicakcic 1
6 D Ognjen Vranjes 1
2 D Avidja Vrsajevic 1 1
8 M Miralem Pjanic 3 1 1
10 M Zvjezdan Misimovic 2
16 M Senad Lulic 2
19 M Edin Visca 2
18 M Haris Medunjanin 2
23 M Sejad Salihovic 2 1
20 M Izet Hajrovic 2
14 M Tino Susic 2 1
21 M Anel Hadzic 1
17 M Senajid Ibrcic
11 A Edin Dzeko 3 1
9 A Vedad Ibisevic 3 1

For a complete review of the 2014 World Cup, check out the next issue of Soccer Italia, written by the team at Football Italia and available on worldwide subscription.