• Argentina 2-1 Bosnia
  • Iran 0-0 Nigeria
  • Argentina 1-0 Iran
  • Nigeria 1-0 Bosnia
  • Nigeria 2-3 Argentina
  • Bosnia 3-1 Iran
Tab 1
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Stacks Image 13829


Messi was apparently 'nervous' in the first 45 minutes, but scored in the 65th minute. Normal service resumed.

Argentina V Bosnia & Herzegovina

June 15th, Rio de Janiero


Argentina

  • 01 Romero, 04 Zabaleta, 16 Rojo (Booked), 02 Garay, 17 Fernández, 03 Campagnaro (Gago - 45'), 11 Rodríguez (Higuaín - 45'), 14 Mascherano, 20 Agüero (Biglia - 87'), 10 Messi, 07 Di María

  • Substitutes

    05 Gago, 06 Biglia, 08 Pérez, 09 Higuaín, 12 Orión, 13 Fernández, 15 Demichelis, 18 Palacio, 19 Álvarez, 21 Andujar, 22 Lavezzi, 23 Basanta

Bosnia-Herzegovina

  • 01 Begovic, 13 Mujdza (Ibisevic - 69'), 05 Kolasinac, 07 Besic, 03 Bicakcic, 04 Spahic (Booked), 20 Hajrovic (Visca - 71'), 08 Pjanic, 11 Dzeko, 10 Misimovic (Medunjanin - 74'), 16 Lulic

  • Substitutes

    02 Vrsajevic, 06 Vranjes, 09 Ibisevic, 12 Fejzic, 14 Susic, 15 Sunjic, 17 Ibricic, 18 Medunjanin, 19 Visca, 21 Hadzic, 22 Avdukic, 23 Salihovic


Just imagine, you’re playing your, and your country’s, first ever world cup match. In Brazil. At the Macarana. Against Argentina. Nervous? You betcha!

There must have been a fair few butterflies fluttering in Bosnian stomachs on Sunday night. How do you set your team up for this kind of match? Be cautious; get settled into the game and don’t concede an early goal. Nice idea; but three minutes into the match that plan was scuppered when a ball played into the Bosnian 6 yard box deflected off Kolasinac and in for an own goal. Ooops! Understandably B&H looked a little bit demoralized but it wasn’t too long before they realise that Argentina aren’t looking overly threatening and that all may not yet be lost. Is it because they are playing in the Lion’s den which is affecting Argentina’s composure or are Bosnia thwarting them?

I have to admit to only watching this match on catch-up TV rather than live and, to be honest, I was quite happy as it enabled me to fizz through the first 45 minutes with its occasional shots at goal (from distance), corners and rather more than a few free kicks. Argentina didn’t look like potential world cup winners, at this stage; Bosnia & Herzegovina didn’t look anything other than relieved.

The second half opened with two Argentinian substitutions; Higuain on for Maxi Rodriguez and Gago for Campagnaro. Did this help Argentina? Ultimately, yes, and importantly as we shall see later but the immediate effect seemed to be that B&H started to get caught, by a flat back four, in offside positions. That, plus they started to give away unneccesary free kicks. The change up front took longer to have effect. The Argentine attack continued to misfire, both Aguero and Messi missing the goal. Then IT happened. Higuain and Messi make a swift interchange and off went Messi towards the Bosnian penalty area shadowed by Besic. A run across the pitch from right to left into the D and a left foot shot into the corner off the inside of goal, past Begovic from the 18 yard line. Besic was left behind as he’d been upended by Bicakcic who, presumably, had intended his tackle for the speeding Messi who had been long gone before the defender got there. 2-0 to the South Americans.

So it’s had taken until halfway into the second half before Argentina found a bit of belief and stopped being quite so tentative; B&H have to go for it now if they want to get anything out of this game and they bring on Ibisevic for Mujdza. A couple of minutes later, another change, as a fresh pair of legs is needed so Visca is brought on for Hajrovic. A few minutes later and coach Susic is taking off Misimovic (Medunjanin on), Bosnia’s most experienced player; it all looks like desperate tinkering in the hope of turning things around. Messi meanwhile is taking the opportunity to again run at his opponents defence. Somehow the European team manage to get through the remainder of the match without conceding another goal.

Lulic, who earlier had forced a good save out of Romero, found Ibisevic with a pass forward with five minutes left to play; Ibisevic shot and somehow the ball squirmed under Romero for B&H’s first World Cup goal. Bosnia, desperate for another shot at goal, press hard in the remaining minutes. Biglia, brought on in place of Aguero, stiffens the Argentine midfield and they just try to keep possession and run down the clock.

That’s how it ends. 2-1. Argentina win but not convincingly; Bosnia & Herzegovina left feeling capable and confident that they can give both Nigeria and Iran a good game. Iran and Nigeria feeling more confident too, no doubt, about meeting both of these teams.

stbaz

The Stats

Argentina

2

  • Kolasinac 3′(og)
  • Messi 65′

Bosnia-Herzegovina

1

  • Ibisevic 84′

Ref: Joel Aguilar

Att: 74,738


Possession

  • Argentina 59%
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina 41%

Shots

  • Argentina 12
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina 16

On target

  • Argentina 2
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina 6

Corners

  • Argentina 2
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina 6

Fouls

  • Argentina 10
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina 14



Tab 2
Stacks Image 13095

About as exciting as the 'action' got!

Iran V Nigeria

June 16th, Curitaba


Iran

  • 12 Haghighi, 15 Montazeri, 23 Pooladi, 06 Nekounam, 04 Hosseini, 05 Sadeqi, 02 Heydari (Shojaei - 89'), 14 Teymourian (Booked), 16 Ghoochanneijhad, 03 Hajsafi, 21 Dejagah (Jahanbakhsh - 78'),

  • Substitutes

  • 01 Ahmadi, 07 Shojaei, 08 Haghighi, 09 Jahanbakhsh, 10 Ansarifard, 11 Haddadifar, 13 Mahini, 17 Alnameh, 18 Rahmani, 19 Beikzadeh, 20 Beitashour, 22 Dover

Nigeria

  • 01 Enyeama, 05 Ambrose Emuobo, 13 Oshaniwa, 10 Mikel, 22 Omeruo, 14 Oboabona (Yobo - 29'), 07 Musa, 17 Onazi, 09 Emenike, 15 Azeez (Odemwingie - 69'), 11 Moses (Ameobi - 52' ),

  • Substitutes

    • 02 Yobo, 03 Uzoenyi, 04 Gabriel, 06 Egwuekwe, 08 Odemwingie, 12 Odunlami, 16 Ejide, 18 Babatunde, 19 Nwofor, 20 Uchebo, 21 Agbim, 23 Ameobi

The first draw of the 2014 World Cup. Not only a draw, but goalless. Not only a draw, and without goals, but I had won the privilege of doing the review!

It’s a good job that we’re not getting paid for this otherwise Channonite would have had my resignation around the 20 minute mark. Watching this match bought to mind, for some strange reason, the Wimbledon team of the 1980s but without their personalities and flair!

Nigeria, a mix of naivety and sophistication, took the initiative from the start but Iran, well organised and disciplined by coach Queiroz, weathered pretty much anything and everything.

Nigeria were determined to score, Iran were determined to stop them.

While the TV in the corner was pumping out the footballing equivalent of tofu my mind was wandering. Terrorists will tell those who try to defend society from them that they only have to be lucky once but the defenders have to have luck with them every time. I think that this must have been Nigeria’s gameplan as wave after wave of green shirted attacks pumped the ball forward. But that was it. The ball was going forward regularly .... then stopped - running into an uncompromising double defensive wall.

Iran didn’t really need to be lucky every time; Nigeria seemed to be quite unable to fathom out how to get through. Moses had an early shot but it was straight at the goalie - that seemed to set the standard for the rest of the match. Little of quality or initiative. Plan B? Nigeria didn’t even have much of a Plan A.

Apart from one save by Enyeama in the Nigerian goal and Joseph Yobo coming on in place of the injured Oboabona to win his 98th cap not much else of interest happened in that first half. No prizes for guessing which manager was happiest at halftime.

Second verse, same as the first. I suppose that Nigeria coach, Stephen Keshi, did try to add some variety by bringing on Shola Ameobi and, later, Peter Odemwingie in a vain attempt to get through, over or around Iran’s defence. But all that happened were more niggly fouls, more than a little frustration and a complete lack of interest by this watching unfortunate. The thought crossed my mind that I was, maybe, the last man in England watching the match.

My trouble is that I’m a romantic when it comes to football. I don’t want to watch a team of over-coached, B stream players park the bus and stop the opposition from scoring. I wanted to see the Nigeria team of the 1990s run riot, not a hapless, dithering, clueless bunch seemingly lost for ideas.

Can Iran do the same against Argentina on Saturday? Will Nigeria beat B&H? I honestly don’t know - and, if the games are like this one, I won’t care much. I suppose Carlos Queiroz is happy; and, I suspect, so is the Bosnian coach. I know that I wasn’t!

stbaz

The Stats

Iran

0

Nigeria

0


Ref: Carlos Vera

Att: 38,081


Possession

  • Iran30%
  • Nigeria70%

Shots

  • Iran 9
  • Nigeria 10

On target

  • Iran 1
  • Nigeria 4

Corners

  • Iran 2
  • Nigeria 7

Fouls

  • Iran 18
  • Nigeria 16

Time Wasting

  • Iran 100%
  • Nigeria 100%



Tab 3
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Stacks Image 14339

Messi left it till the last possible moment

Argentina v Iran

21st June, Belo Horizonte


Teams :

Argentina

  • 01 Romero, 04 Zabaleta, 16 Rojo, 14 Mascherano, 17 Fernández, 02 Garay, 05 Gago, 10 Messi, 20 Agüero (Lavezzi - 77'), 09 Higuaín (Palacio - 77'), 07 Di María (Biglia - 94')

  • Substitutes

  • 03 Campagnaro, 06 Biglia, 08 Pérez, 11 Rodríguez, 12 Orión, 13 Fernández, 15 Demichelis, 18 Palacio, 19 Álvarez, 21 Andujar, 22 Lavezzi, 23 Basanta

Iran

  • 12 Haghighi, 15 Montazeri, 23 Pooladi, 06 Nekounam (Booked), 04 Hosseini, 05 Sadeqi, 07 Shojaei (Booked) (Heydari - 77'), 14 Teymourian, 16 Ghoochanneijhad, 03 Hajsafi (Haghighi - 88'), 21 Dejagah (Jahanbakhsh - 85')

  • Substitutes

  • 01 Ahmadi, 02 Heydari, 08 Haghighi, 09 Jahanbakhsh, 10 Ansarifard, 11 Haddadifar, 13 Mahini, 17 Alnameh, 18 Rahmani, 19 Beikzadeh, 20 Beitashour, 22 Davari


Report

What a mismatch! Argentina V Iran - this should be a walkover for La Albiceleste. That, at least, was what the bookies and the ITK'ers on TV were telling us. The odds at the bookies had Argentina at 8:1 on!

The footballing Gods disagreed and only the genius of little Lionel in the 91st minute managed to spare the South American’s blushes.

Alex Sabella (or was it Ian Duncan Smith?) looks confidently on.

It was a good match to watch, despite having to tune in to ITV and listen to the inanities of Tyldesley and Townsend - which have been well covered elsewhere. But I must mention Anodyne Andy’s comment on a Di Maria miss ..... “He could’ve done better!” No shit, Sherlock! And so could you, Andy. That from a player I used to like when he played for Saints - although I was probably in a minority back then.

From the start Carlos Queiroz’s team looked quietly confident. They’d been set up to play as a unit and, having some big guys at the back with more in a very defensive midfield not far in front, they kept the Argentinians subdued. Iran got an early freekick which managed to avoid the heads of both Hosseini and the defenders.

Back at the other end, Haghighi got a knock from Higuain who was attempting a shot at goal. It’s that sort of game - backwards and forwards, Argentina, playing tika-taka at times, have the quality; Iran who have those qualities so beloved of Townsend, are doing a ‘grand job’! They were everywhere, blocking in midfield, before galloping upfield themselves to have a shot or two. At halftime, Messi and company had had the bulk of possession but no clear-cut chances. Queiroz’s tactics working very well so far; so much for the experts’ views.

The second half continues much like the first ended. Argentina, it seems, are relying on their undoubted individual quality to fashion a win somehow.... anyhow... anytime. Be patient and we’ll get there must have been IDS’s halftime talk. That wasn’t allowing for any silly errors by his team - which almost undid them on minute 55 when Zabaleta took out a marauding attacker’s legs inside the area. Fortunately for Senor Zabaleta the referee is lenient and looks witheringly at the protesting Iranian players. A few minutes later and the South American defenders get in a right tizzy trying to clear a corner cross; luckily for them Ghoochannejihad can’t quite get clean contact on the ball. Argentina are on the ropes and Iran’s confidence is sky high.

Then Messi, from a free kick, hits the side netting and this gets his teammates focussed again. All except for the passengers (Higuain and Aguero) who are unceremoniously subbed with Lavezzi and Palacio replacing them.

More to’ing and fro’ing by both sides; Iran make a couple of changes and look to be holding on for a draw, a superb result for them, when genius strikes. Messi, in the first of four additional minutes, does what he does best ; receives a pass from Lavezzi, takes three or four steps and curls a beautiful shot into the goal.

What a goal! What a player! IDS looks relieved.

stbaz


The Stats

Argentina

1

  • Messi 90′

Iran

0


Ref: Milorad Mazic

Att: 57,698


Possession

  • Argentina 77%
  • Iran 23%

Shots

  • Argentina 21
  • Iran 8

On Target

  • Argentina 4
  • Iran 3

Corners

  • Argentina 10
  • Iran 6

Fouls

  • Argentina 7
  • Iran 14



Tab 4
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Stacks Image 14095

Odemwingie (left) scored the all important goal for Nigeria

Nigeria v Bosnia-Herzegovina

21st June, Cuiaba


Teams :

Nigeria

  • 01 Enyeama, 05 Ambrose Emuobo, 13 Oshaniwa, 10 Mikel (Booked), 02 Yobo, 22 Omeruo, 08 Odemwingie, 17 Onazi, 09 Emenike, 18 Babatunde (Uzoenyi - 75'), 07 Musa (Ameobi - 65')

  • Substitutes

  • 03 Uzoenyi, 04 Gabriel, 06 Egwuekwe, 11 Moses, 12 Odunlami, 15 Azeez, 16 Ejide, 19 Nwofor, 20 Uchebo, 21 Agbim, 23 Ameobi

Bosnia-Herzegovina

  • 01 Begovic, 13 Mujdza, 16 Lulic (Salihovic - 58'), 07 Besic, 15 Sunjic, 04 Spahic, 20 Hajrovic (Ibisevic - 57'), 18 Medunjanin (Booked) (Susic - 64'), 11 Dzeko, 08 Pjanic, 10 Misimovic

  • Substitutes

  • 02 Vrsajevic, 03 Bicakcic, 05 Kolasinac, 06 Vranjes, 09 Ibisevic, 12 Fejzic, 14 Susic, 17 Ibricic, 19 Visca, 21 Hadzic, 22 Avdukic, 23 Salihovic


Report :

Bosnia & Herzegovina must have been fairly optimistic about this match; having played well against Argentina in their first match, and noting that Nigeria staggered to a draw against Iran in their opener, you can’t blame them for being confident of getting something out of this one.

Iran were being written off by most of the pundits as they had lost to Argentina earlier, and this was seen as the decider for the runners up spot in the group.

Who knows what might have happened on another day, but this one was marred by a controversial refereeing decision. FIFA, since the tournament had begun, had already suspended a Colombian lino, publicly came out in support of a Japanese ref for awarding Brazil’s Fred a dodgy pen (while, no doubt, privately reading him the riot act) and, after this match, had to face a public petition demanding that the referee be sacked and the match rerun. Fat chance of that being done.

Digressing from the match, for a minute, the world is never short of people rushing to judgement on t’interweb thingy, and demanding a public vote on all sorts of matters. I blame too many of these talent shows that short-change the short-brained with premium rate voting lines.

Anyhoo, back to the match. Bosnia started defensively and without guile while Nigeria had woken up after their somnambulent stroll against Iran five days earlier. But Bosnia had Dzeko and, almost single-handedly, he tried to galvanise his team mates. Poor Bosnian play led to an early free kick, then John Obi Mikel went close followed soon after by Begovic saving from Onazi.

But Bosnia started to fight back and, on 20 minutes, they seemed to get their reward when Dzeko drilled home past the goalkeeper. Offside flagged the lino!

It wasn’t, but as B&H’s coach, Safet Susic, said afterwards “... this is not the first or last refereeing mistake...” Minutes later, Nigeria also found the net as Emenike beat Spahic, then crossed for Peter Odemwingie to put the ball past Begovic, his club team mate. That was Nigeria’s first World Cup goal from open play in nine hours!

Poor Bosnia, they really looked as if they’d been hit for six; Dzeko kept plugging away though, Begovic kept them in the game with some smart saves but, despite all the end to end play, nothing more of note happened. Ibisevic came on as a sub and could have (should have?) scored but Nigeria looked happy trying to sit on their lead.

Well done to both goalkeepers; a hearty cheer for Dzeko and don’t be surprised to see Bosnia & Herzegovina do well in future competitions.

stbaz


The Stats

Nigeria

1

  • Odemwingie 29′

Bosnia-Herzegovina

0


Ref: Peter O'Leary

Att: 40,499


Possession

  • Nigeria 41%
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina 59%

Shots

  • Nigeria 20
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina 20

On Target

  • Nigeria 9
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina 7

Corners

  • Nigeria 4
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina 4

Fouls

  • Nigeria 9
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina 7



Tab 5
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Stacks Image 14191

Mesmerising Messi

Nigeria v Argentina

25th June, Porto Alegre


Teams :

Nigeria

  • 01 Enyeama, 05 Ambrose Emuobo, 13 Oshaniwa (Booked), 10 Mikel, 02 Yobo, 22 Omeruo (Booked), 08 Odemwingie (Nwofor - 80'), 17 Onazi, 09 Emenike, 18 Babatunde (Uchebo - 66'), 07 Musa

  • Substitutes

  • 03 Uzoenyi, 04 Gabriel, 06 Egwuekwe, 12 Odunlami, 14 Oboabona, 15 Azeez, 16 Ejide, 19 Nwofor, 20 Uchebo, 21 Agbim, 23 Ameobi

Argentina

  • 01 Romero, 04 Zabaleta, 16 Rojo, 14 Mascherano, 17 Fernández, 02 Garay, 05 Gago, 10 Messi (Álvarez - 63'), 20 Agüero (Lavezzi - 38'), 09 Higuaín (Biglia - 91'), 07 Di María

  • Substitutes

  • 03 Campagnaro, 06 Biglia, 08 Pérez, 11 Rodríguez, 12 Orión, 13 Fernández, 15 Demichelis, 18 Palacio, 19 Álvarez, 21 Andujar, 22 Lavezzi, 23 Basanta


Report :

Now this is where it all starts to get interesting. Players and coaches can almost taste the knock-out rounds. It’s not just survival that’s at stake, who finishes first and who second starts to matter as both managers analyse their potential route to the final.

All we do know, for certain, prior to kick-off is;

  1. Bosnia and Herzegovina are on tomorrow’s plane back home.
  2. Argentina will finish up as group winners or runners up
  3. Iran can finish second, third or fourth
  4. Nigeria can finish second or third
  5. There is a possibility of FIFA drawing lots to select Nigeria or Iran as runners up

The permutations make for an interesting match.

This will be the fourth time that these two teams have met in a World Cup competition, Argentina having won the first three. Argentina also have an unchanged team which means that Messi, their brightest star so far, starts. Nigeria have one change, Babatunde on for the injured Victor Moses. Coach Stephen Keshi leaves Oboabona and Gabriel on the bench which means that Stoke’s Peter Odemwingie gets a start.

And what a start it was. Mascherano, barely back on his feet after a robust tackle by Odemwingie, slots a perfect pass through to Di Maria, he shoots, Enyeama gets a hand to the ball, it rebounds of off the post and is met by Messi who is charging into the penalty area. A scorching shot into the top of the net! Only 3 minutes gone and it’s 1-0 to Argentina.

If anyone thought that presaged the opening of the floodgates they were swiftly disabused. Just over a minute later, Musa runs down the left channel, cuts inside and curls a beautiful, unstoppable, shot into the top right hand corner of Romero’s goal. 1-1 and not even five minutes on the clock - apparently that’s the first time that’s ever happened in the World Cup!

An intriguing first half of end-to-end football; Argentina continuing to press, Di Maria is having an excellent match, Enyeama is kept busy; but Nigeria are having their moments too. Both sets of attackers are probing the frailties of their opposition’s defences but no further goals are scored until just before the half time whistle. And it’s that man Messi again; a superb free kick over the wall and into the net. HT 2-1 to Argentina.

The second half is barely underway when the other star of the game, Musa, runs onto a pass from Emineke and slams a shot under Romero. Messi 2, Musa 2! The Argentine defence too slow to react, but even so, that Musa is a class act.

It’s not too long before Argentina take the lead again as a corner is met by Rojo’s knee and flies into the net. But Bosnia are beating Iran so it’s not too bad for Nigeria - this news keeps them in second place.

Sabella (or IDS, whichever it is) takes off Messi, who gets a tremendous acclaim from the massive Argentine support in the stadium, on the hour. The half continues with Zabaleta giving a masterclass in defending against Musa but no further goals occur despite both sides trying hard. And that’s how it ends, 3-2 to Argentina, thanks to two unconvincing defences and some excellent attacking play.

Bosnia & Herzegovina beat Iran 3-1 so Nigeria finish as runners up (Bosnia take third place in the group). They go on to play France next Monday; probably as far as they will go, especially if France play Morgan Schneiderlin !

Argentina play Switzerland on Tuesday. Can they go all the way? They are in with a good chance but, unless they tighten up defensively the semi-finals will be the best they’ll achieve.

stbaz


The Stats

Nigeria

2

  • Musa 4′, 47′

Argentina

3

  • Messi 3′, 45′
  • Rojo 50′

Ref: Nicola Rizzoli

Att: 43,285


Possession

  • Nigeria 39%
  • Argentina 61%

Shots

  • Nigeria 12
  • Argentina 18

On Target

  • Nigeria 3
  • Argentina 13

Corners

  • Nigeria 4
  • Argentina 12

Fouls

  • Nigeria 16
  • Argentina 5



Tab 6
Alt image
Stacks Image 14344

Pjanic scored the all important second goal for Bosnia

Bosnia Herzegovina v Iran

25th June, Salvador


Teams :

Bosnia-Herzegovina

  • 01 Begovic, 02 Vrsajevic, 05 Kolasinac, 21 Hadzic (Vranjes - 61'), 15 Sunjic, 04 Spahic, 07 Besic (Booked), 08 Pjanic, 09 Ibisevic, 11 Dzeko (Visca - 84'), 14 Susic (Salihovic - 79')

  • Substitutes

  • 03 Bicakcic, 06 Vranjes, 10 Misimovic, 12 Fejzic, 13 Mujdza, 16 Lulic, 17 Ibricic, 18 Medunjanin, 19 Visca, 20 Hajrovic, 22 Avdukic, 23 Salihovic

Iran

  • 12 Haghighi, 15 Montazeri, 23 Pooladi, 06 Nekounam, 04 Hosseini, 05 Sadeqi, 07 Shojaei (Heydari - 45'), 14 Teymourian, 16 Ghoochannejhad, 03 Hajsafi (Jahanbakhsh - 63'), 21 Dejagah (Ansarifard - 68' (Booked) )

  • Substitutes

  • 01 Ahmadi, 02 Heydari, 08 Haghighi, 09 Jahanbakhsh, 10 Ansarifard, 11 Haddadifar, 13 Mahini, 17 Alnameh, 18 Rahmani, 19 Beikzadeh, 20 Beitashour, 22 Davari


Report :

I was late back from work and the match was on ITV (Ugh!), so MrsC had nabbed the big TV to watch Wimbledon. So, to get a decent picture I decided to watch a stream on the ITV site. It is NOT user friendly. How can the BBC get iPlayer so right and they get ITVPlayer so wrong. And you have to suffer loads of adverts before anything happens.

Having had a rant about ITV, what about the game? The first thing I noticed that there was zero atmosphere in the stadium. The commentators seemed to be talking about the Nigeria v Argentina game, rather than the game they were supposed to be telling us about.

Things livened up all of a sudden when Eden Dzeko was left completely unmarked and he shot from 25 yards out. Goal. 1-0 to Bosnia.

This seemed to wake up the Iranians. The Bosnian crossbar was rattled almost immediately. You got the impression that the Iranians were throwing the kitchen sink at the Bosnians in order to get themselves back into the game.

It didn't last though and as the game wore on towards half time the steam went out of the game a bit.

The second half started as the first half did with the Bosnian's in control and in the 58th minute we were treated to a wonderful piece of individual skill from them, when Susic raced forward and slid a wonderful pass through to Pjanic. He made no mistake and it was 2-0. I like the look of Pjanic, he looks comfortable in possession and has an eye for goal.

The two sides traded attacks and in the 82nd minute they traded goals. First the wonderfully named Ghoochannejhad scored for Iran and within a minute the Bosnian full back Vrsajevic had scored his very first goal for his country.

That essentially was that. Bosnia had a consolation win, but both teams were eliminated. Of the two, Bosnia looked the more professional, but their manager Susic admitted before they set off for Brazil that there were only about 12 or 13 good players available to him.

Home for both teams.


The Stats

Bosnia-Herzegovina

3

  • Dzeko 23′
  • Pjanic 59′
  • Vrsajevic 83′

Iran

1

  • Ghoochannejhad 82′

Ref: Carlos Velasco Carballo

Att: 48,011


Possession

  • Bosnia-Hercegovina 66%
  • Iran 34%

Shots

  • Bosnia-Hercegovina 12
  • Iran 7

On Target

  • Bosnia-Hercegovina 5
  • Iran 2

Corners

  • Bosnia-Hercegovina 6
  • Iran 5

Fouls

  • Bosnia-Hercegovina 20
  • Iran 17