UEFA Nations League - Group B3
Bos-Herze2Northern Ireland0

Nations League: Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-0 Northern Ireland

George Saville and Muhamed Besic vie for possession at Stadion Grbavica
George Saville and Muhamed Besic vie for possession at Stadion Grbavica

Northern Ireland suffered a third Nations League defeat in a row as an Edin Dzeko double gave Bosnia-Herzegovina a 2-0 win in Sarajevo.

The Roma striker scored a goal in each half to leave Michael O'Neill's men without a point in Group B3 and in grave danger of relegation to Group C.

Bosnia are well placed for promotion with three wins from three matches.

George Saville and Gavin Whyte (twice) struck the post for NI, who are without a win in seven competitive matches.

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Nations League: Northern Ireland a work in progress - O'Neill

O'Neill's men have drawn one and lost six of those games, comprising World Cup qualifying fixtures and Nations League matches, scoring just two goals in the process.

Northern Ireland have failed to score in nine of their most recent 11 away games, including the last six in a row.

Their last goal on their travels was a Steven Davis penalty in a 3-0 victory over San Marino 13 months ago.

Northern Ireland have won just two of their past 11 games but in contrast Bosnia are unbeaten in eight outings, having lost just one of 12 competitive games at home.

A point against Austria in their 15 November meeting in Vienna would ensure that the Bosnians win the group, with NI facing the Austrians in their final game in the competition on 18 November, having lost to Franco Foda's side 1-0 last week.

Chances missed - but Euro 2020 the target

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Stuart Dallas says NI must convert more of their scoring opportunities

Before the game, O'Neill was at pains to point out that his squad is one in transition and that his priority was developing a team capable of qualifying for a second consecutive European Championships in 2020.

His side paid heed to his pre-match demand to be more competitive than they were against Austria three days ago and with more clinical finishing could have come away with at least a point.

Saville, unmarked inside the area, badly scuffed an attempted side-footed volley wide of the goal from 10 yards out after getting on the end of Davis' right-wing cross.

The Middlesbrough midfielder then saw his swivelling shot from Jamal Lewis's left-wing cross rebound off the post, while in the second half his drive was denied by a fine diving save from Ibrahim Sehic.

Substitute Whyte had a header from a Stuart Dallas delivery pushed away by Sehic and then hit the post from six yards with the goal at his mercy.

The Oxford winger, who scored with his first touch on his international debut against Israel in September, also fired a deflected effort against the upright in the final minute.

Corry Evans was handed the captain's armband to celebrate his 50th cap while Liam Boyce produced an impressive performance in a lone central striking role, having overcome a knee injury in time to replace Josh Magennis in the starting line-up.

NI were left to rue a number of missed chances in the defeat by Bosnia
NI were left to rue a number of missed chances in the defeat by Bosnia

Dzeko and Pjanic star for Bosnia

Striker Dzeko and Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic proved to be the difference between the sides, with the Roma forward taking his tally of international goals to 55 in 98 appearances.

Dzeko fired over from Pjanic's sublime cross-field pass early in the game but made no mistake in the 27th minute when the unfortunate Lewis lost his footing and Edin Visca provided the pass for the former Manchester City forward to side-foot past Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

On the half hour, Dzeko's sweetly struck left-foot drive from a Pjanic free-kick flew into the top corner of the net but the 'goal' was controversially ruled out for offside.

Pjanic drilled another free-kick just over while Ognjen Vranjes flashed a right-foot shot wide of the post shortly before half-time.

Peacock-Farrell denied Dzeko and Elvis Saric soon after the resumption but Dzeko curled home a right-foot shot into the bottom corner in the 72nd minute after latching on to another perfectly executed pass from Pjanic.

The Bosnians have lost just one of 10 matches - conceding only three goals - since former Croatia international Robert Prosinecki took charge in January.

Prosinecki's team had defeated Northern Ireland 2-1 when the sides met in Belfast in September despite the home side dominating for long periods of the game.

Line-ups

Bos-Herze

  • 12Sehic
  • 6Vranjes
  • 15Sunjic
  • 17Zukanovic
  • 2Civic
  • 7BesicBooked at 84minsSubstituted forCimirotat 90'minutes
  • 10Pjanic
  • 21Saric
  • 8ViscaSubstituted forMilosevicat 88'minutes
  • 11Dzeko
  • 9DuljevicBooked at 70minsSubstituted forZakaricat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Begovic
  • 4Todorovic
  • 5Nastic
  • 13Cimirot
  • 14Prcic
  • 16Bajic
  • 18Kodro
  • 19Krunic
  • 20Zakaric
  • 22Kjosevski
  • 23Milosevic

Northern Ireland

  • 1Peacock-Farrell
  • 17McNairSubstituted forVassellat 71'minutes
  • 20Cathcart
  • 5Evans
  • 3Lewis
  • 16NorwoodBooked at 33minsSubstituted forWhyteat 58'minutes
  • 13Evans
  • 8Davis
  • 6SavilleBooked at 58mins
  • 14Dallas
  • 10BoyceSubstituted forMagennisat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2McLaughlin
  • 4Smith
  • 7Whyte
  • 11Ferguson
  • 12Carson
  • 15Jones
  • 18Hughes
  • 19Vassell
  • 21Magennis
  • 22Flanagan
  • 23McGovern
Referee:
Mattias Gestranius
Attendance:
11,050

Match Stats

Home TeamBos-HerzeAway TeamNorthern Ireland
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home17
Away11
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away2
Fouls
Home13
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Bosnia and Herzegovina 2, Northern Ireland 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Bosnia and Herzegovina 2, Northern Ireland 0.

Elvis Saric (Bosnia and Herzegovina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by George Saville (Northern Ireland).

Corner, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Conceded by Jamal Lewis.

Goran Zakaric (Bosnia and Herzegovina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jamal Lewis (Northern Ireland).

Substitution

Substitution, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Gojko Cimirot replaces Muhamed Besic.

Goran Zakaric (Bosnia and Herzegovina) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jamal Lewis (Northern Ireland).

Hand ball by Goran Zakaric (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Substitution

Substitution, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Deni Milosevic replaces Edin Visca.

Attempt missed. Edin Dzeko (Bosnia and Herzegovina) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Eldar Civic with a cross.

Attempt saved. Craig Cathcart (Northern Ireland) header from the right side of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Stuart Dallas with a cross.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Ibrahim Sehic.

Attempt saved. George Saville (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Booking

Muhamed Besic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Muhamed Besic (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

George Saville (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Miralem Pjanic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt blocked. Eldar Civic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Conceded by Jamal Lewis.

Muhamed Besic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Steven Davis (Northern Ireland).

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Josh Magennis replaces Liam Boyce.

Corner, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Conceded by Jonny Evans.

Attempt blocked. Edin Dzeko (Bosnia and Herzegovina) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Miralem Pjanic with a cross.

Corner, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Conceded by Jamal Lewis.

Attempt blocked. Edin Visca (Bosnia and Herzegovina) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked. Assisted by Miralem Pjanic.

Attempt blocked. Edin Visca (Bosnia and Herzegovina) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Goran Zakaric replaces Haris Duljevic.

Goal!

Goal! Bosnia and Herzegovina 2, Northern Ireland 0. Edin Dzeko (Bosnia and Herzegovina) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Miralem Pjanic with a through ball.

Ognjen Vranjes (Bosnia and Herzegovina) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kyle Vassell (Northern Ireland).

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Kyle Vassell replaces Paddy McNair.

Offside, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ervin Zukanovic tries a through ball, but Haris Duljevic is caught offside.

Booking

Haris Duljevic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Haris Duljevic (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Paddy McNair (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Elvis Saric (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Monday 15th October 2018

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France21102114
2Netherlands21014223
3Germany201103-31

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Switzerland32019366
2Belgium22005146
3Iceland3003111-100

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Portugal22004226
2Italy31112204
3Poland301235-21

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain320110466
2England31114404
3Croatia201106-61

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ukraine22003126
2Czech Rep21013303
3Slovakia200213-20

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Russia32104137
2Turkey310246-23
3Sweden201123-11

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bos-Herze33005149
2Austria21011103
3Northern Ireland300315-40

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark21102024
2Wales21014313
3R. of Ireland201114-31

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Israel32014226
2Scotland21013213
3Albania310214-33

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Finland440050512
2Greece420234-16
3Hungary411256-14
4Estonia401336-31

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bulgaria33005239
2Norway32013126
3Cyprus310235-23
4Slovenia300325-30

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Serbia42205238
2Montenegro42116337
3Romania41304316
4Lithuania400429-70

M

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Georgia33006069
2Latvia302112-12
3Kazakhstan302124-22
4Andorra302114-32

N

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Luxembourg430110199
2Belarus42206068
3Moldova412124-25
4San Marino4004013-130

O

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Kosovo42206248
2Azerbaijan41305236
3Faroe Islands411247-34
4Malta402248-42

P

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Macedonia33008179
2Liechtenstein310246-23
3Armenia310224-23
4Gibraltar310214-33
View full UEFA Nations League tables

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