Bosnia-Herzegovina 3 Iran 1: Three talking points
Bosnia-Herzegovina 3 Iran 1: Three talking points as Edin Dzeko and co end with World Cup with a win
Energy-sapping tactics prove difficult to maintain for Iran
On Wednesday evening, Bosnia Herzegovina took on Iran in a decisive Group F encounter as Carlos Queiroz’s men went in search of a win to keep their World Cup journey alive. Unfortunately, they just didnt have the necessary end product, and it was Safet Susic’s men who ran out 3-1 winners. A proactive and energetic side, Iran brought their pressurising game to the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador in the hope that it would be enough to see them emerge victorious. And while they played well with an attractive counter-attacking style, yet again they just didn’t seem to have the fitness to maintain it for the whole match. They looked tired and became exposed the more the match dragged on as they searched harder and harder for that elusive goal. Huge credit to the way they fought back against their tag as potential whipping boys throughout the competition. No doubt, many fans of Iranian football will hope that the next time they qualify, they’ll have more in the locker to compete. Nonetheless, they gave plenty of thrills along the way and it can’t be argued they didn’t play to their strengths – it’s just that, unfortunately, their strengths weren’t good enough on the day.
Offensive bite proves decisive
Having a player of such immense quality and talent as Edin Dzeko in your ranks can really make such a vital difference at the top level, and after the Manchester City striker grabbed his goal in the 23rd minute, the onus was always going to be on Iran to chase the game – something that never really sat comfortably with their own style of play. Taking his goal superbly, the 28-year-old beat Alireza Haghighi with a deadly strike that clipped the post on its way in. And try as they might, the Iranians just spent too much energy trying to get back on level terms. And when they did eventually score through Reza Ghochannejhad, their joy was short-lived as Bosnia’s Avdija Vrsajevic romped forward seconds later to ensure there would be no valiant comeback. All this, of course, came after Bosnia had put a two-goal cushion in place. To put it bluntly, it was the superior offensive finishing from Bosnia that eventually proved the big gap between both sets of players.
Both sides exhibit great resilience
With nothing left to play for when the match kicked-off as far as progression in the tournament was concerned, it was a real testament to Susic and his players for the manner in which they took the contest on. Hammering in three goals almost out of frustration for the way they’d played in both the Argentina and Nigeria matches, there was a real sense of retribution to their goal-scoring. And as for Iran, to continue fighting in the face of adversity at two goals down, when they really needed a trio of strikes to have any hope of reaching the last-16 underlined just how willing they were to give their all to the cause. This was a match that could, and should, have had a dull ending, but massive respect to the players in playing out the final few minutes with great honour and pride – it made for exciting viewing.