By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Bosnia beat Iran 3-1 this afternoon at the Arena Fonte Nova to gain their first points of the tournament. It was too late to help them qualify for the latter stages but meant they didn’t finish their debut World Cup bottom of their group.
Edin Dzeko gave Bosnia the lead on 23 minutes. Freeing himself of his marker he rifled in a shot from outside the penalty area.
Iran, who before the game had one point from two games, knew they needed to win to have any chance of making the last sixteen, but their delayed reaction to going behind put a serious dent in their hopes of progress.
Striker Rez Ghoochannejhad was often left isolated up front with little support from the midfield. Masou Shojaei had his country’s best chance in the first half but his shot came back off the crossbar. On the hour mark, Bosnia went 2-0 up and effectively ended Iranian hopes. Dzeko released Pjanic who finished calmly.
Eight minutes from time Ghoochannejhad gave Iran a glimmer of hope with a close-range finish but a minute later that flame was truly extinguished. Vrsajevic angled a drive into the bottom of the goal to net his first international strike.
Bosnia had battled bravely and can go home proud of their efforts at their first ever tournament. For Iraq, a lack of courage from coach Carlos Queiroz when it mattered most looks to have cost them dearly, when qualification was within their grasp.
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