Game three of day ten, and the two sides expected to face off for second place behind Argentina. Bosnia and Herzegovina looked spirited against Argentina in their narrow defeat last weekend, while Nigeria looked slightly the better side against a tough Iran side. Today’s Iranian game has certainly put the Nigerian game in context, so this one should be close, rather than tight. Ideally at least…

Mark June 22, 20141:01 am

Plenty of bizarre aspects to Dzeko’s late miss. He handled the ball and mishit his shot, but was still denied by Enyeama’s flailing foot, which took the ball from the centre of the goal to his right-hand post. Bet he couldn’t do that again, even if he tried. Neville suggests, in what is fast becoming a stock phrase, that Dzeko should have “hit it with his laces.” While Keown claims that Dezko “took his eye of the ball” and looked at the goal instead of just hitting through the ball, all over slo-mo video evidence that he’s talking absolute junkleclunks.
Man of the match, though, was Bosnia keeper Amir Begovic, who made about 94 saves.
A good game and the right result.

Mark June 22, 201412:53 am

Bosnia are OOOT. A narrow 2-1 defeat in which they played well. A narrow second defeat in which they didn’t. And a much-hyped but under-performing number ten. The English way. Nigeria, meanwhile, are a point from qualifying which they need to take from Argentina.

Mark June 22, 201412:49 am

And there IS that “last chance.” Dzeko’s turn and shot touched onto the post by Enyeama.

Mark June 22, 201412:47 am

Misinovic ends the 90 minutes with an air shot and a scuffer ten yards wide. Three minutes stoppage, and Dezeko heads a good chance at Enyeama.

Mark June 22, 201412:38 am

Replays show that Ibisevic shouldered that chance over, and then show Nigerian keeper Victor Enyeama pointing to his head, as if offering the striker advice. Images to haunt? Meanwhile, Begovic has made another save at the other end. Nigeria should be two-up by now.

Mark June 22, 201412:32 am

AND IBISEVIC….oh… Is that THE chance. Fifteen minutes left. So…no, there’ll be others.

Rob June 22, 201412:31 am

Ibisevic has Bosnia’s best chance of the half, but heads over from a corner.

Mark June 22, 201412:30 am

Bosnian coach Safet Susic has brought his nephew Tino on. The lad IS in the squad, in case you think Susic is getting insanely desperate. But I never have a good feeling about nephew substitutes.

Mark June 22, 201412:18 am

The substitution has had an immediate effect…its all Nigeria now, and Begovic has made two saves in a minute to keep Bosnia in it. Hope for Bosnia, though. Shola Ameobi’s coming on for Nigeria.

Mark June 22, 201412:13 am

Ibisevic is on at last. Goalfest here we come.

Mark June 22, 201412:03 am

19 shots in the 1st half here, as many as the whole of Nigeria/Iran. There were NINETEEN shots in Nigeria/Iran? 15 more than I can remember.

Mark June 21, 201411:59 pm

Chris Waddle doesn’t believe that this game is as good as either of today’s earlier games. Clearly he didn’t see either of those first halves. Doubt this one will end up as good though.

Mark June 21, 201411:56 pm

Plenty of social media suggestions that the half-time score is Stoke City 1 Stoke City 0

Mark June 21, 201411:55 pm

One-nil to the Quite Good Eagles at half-time. Two up front for Bosnia in the second half methinks. Dzeko and Ibisevic scored 18 in 10 qualifiers and as Bosnia are oooot as things stand they should both be on.
That said, Dzeko had an onside goal disallowed and is having the sort of game he’s often had for Man City, missing a load of chances, looking more miserable with each one but eventually finding the net.
In the studio, Martin Keown tries six times to make it clear whether he thinks Nigeria’s goal should have been disallowed. He fails. NO-ONE is sure what he thinks, least of all presenter Mark Chapman.
Keown does make an analogy about plugholes. In a perfect world, his punditry career would have gone down one long ago.

Rob June 21, 201411:48 pm

Apparently its Kevin Kilbane, not Danny Murphy.

Mark June 21, 201411:38 pm

Right. As I went to the toilet just before kick-off, like all footie fans who have drunk so much before kick-off that they KNOW they won’t make it to half-time:
Emineke beat Bosnian defender Saphic down the right and cut the ball back for Odemwingie to drill home. I looked at the ref expecting him to blow for a free-out. But, rightly, he didn’t. Spahic went to smack Emineke in the face and fell over.
Spahic complained to the ref’s assistant and covered his mouth while doing so, in case anyone could lip-read the Bosnian for “you need glasses, lino.”

Rob June 21, 201411:32 pm

You could have waited until after I’d been to the gents. First goal missed through visiting the toilet of the World Cup, for those of you keeping score.

Mark June 21, 201411:29 pm


Mark June 21, 201411:27 pm

Is this one of the games where a 200% live-blogger suggests it could be “one of the best 0-0s ever”, thereby ensuring a goal within minutes? OK, then…
This could be one of the best 0-0s ever.
Whenever you’re ready, lads…

Rob June 21, 201411:24 pm

Dzeko has another chance, but this time, the flag stays down and the keeper saves.

Mark June 21, 201411:24 pm

Wilson claims that “my first thought was that he was onside,” when Dzeko netted. “And I was right.” Or, far more likely, you saw the linesman’s flag by his side when Dzeko went through, like we all did, Steve…you’re not fooling anyone.

Rob June 21, 201411:23 pm

Edin Dzeko has the ball in the net, but the linesman has his flag up. The replay show that he was about six inches onside, so while wrong, not as bad as Danny Murphy is making out.

Mark June 21, 201411:20 pm

Curious TV pic earlier of Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi giving out to one of his players but appearing to do so straight to camera. I said “sorry, boss” immediately and suspect Keshi’s glare will appear in my sub-conscious thoughts as I sleep tonight.

Rob June 21, 201411:18 pm

Nigeria on top here, without creating too many chances, although part of that was down to Haris Medunjanin hauling down Ahmed Musa twenty yards out. Just about covering defenders, so the referee was right to give a yellow card, but a textbook description of a professional foul.

Mark June 21, 201411:16 pm

Nigeria starting so brightly that even Jon Obi Mikel is shooting…

Mark June 21, 201411:14 pm

Glad Peter Odemwingie is playing because he was about the only Nigerian player in the Iran game about whom you couldn’t say “what were you doing out there, you dozy bastard?” Oh…and also, you can never have too many Stoke City players in a World Cup finals match.