Bosnia and Herzegovina exited their first World Cup after a 1-0 loss to Nigeria on Saturday night.
Their Group F fate might have been so different if Edin Dzeko did not have a legitimate goal inexplicably ruled offside.
Still, Nigeria were good for their own lead, enjoying their own share of the first-half possession. Peter Odemwingie finished coolly after Emmanuel Emenike's powerful run and pinpoint cross from the right wing.
Safet Susic's side never quite recovered from the setbacks, losing the momentum that had appeared to be gathering. Though they had their chances, they did not trouble Nigeria enough to truly deserve anything from this game.
The African Cup of Nations holders move into second place in the group but face a tough test against Argentina next week. Their fate may be decided by Bosnia and Herzegovina's ability to get up for their final game with Iran.
|Nigeria Player Ratings|
|Player||Half-Time Rating||Full-Time Rating|
|John Obi Mikel||5.5||6|
Nigeria Half-Time Analysis
Vincent Enyeama: made several good stops to keep Bosnia out
Joseph Yobo: caught by Dzeko on a few occasions; needs to be more alert in the second half
Efe Ambrose: largely in control of his flank
Kenneth Omeruo: very similar to Yobo; decent but nervy at times
Juwon Oshaniwa: struggling to deal with Hajrovic coming in off the right
Ogenyi Onazi: using the ball well and putting himself about
John Obi Mikel: has had his moments but is finding it hard work against competitive opposition numbers
Michael Babatunde: Not frequently involved but did well when he was.
Peter Odemwingie: always looking to get involved; he took his goal well
Ahmed Musa: His speed and daring runs down the right have been Nigeria's most consistent threat.
Emmanuel Emenike: The striker's power has been problematic for a Bosnia defence looking soft.
Nigeria Full-Time Analysis
Vincent Enyeama: Good work again in the second-half to deny Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Joseph Yobo: The defender had a better second-half, sending back a lot of what came his way.
Efe Ambrose: A tougher time of things after the interval as Bosnia attacked down his flank more often.
Kenneth Omeruo: Came through on a few occasions to clear and kept things tight.
Juwon Oshaniwa: Did better after Hajrovic's substitution but had a hard night's work under consistent pressure.
Ogenyi Onazi: Strong again in the second-half, he worked hard to drive his team forward.
John Obi Mikel: Worked hard but was unable to influence the game as much as he would have liked.
Michael Babatunde: A quieter second-half showing before going off injured.
Peter Odemwingie: Less involved later on but he used the ball intelligently when it came his way.
Ahmed Musa: Tired out by his first-half efforts, he was subbed off after 15 minutes of the second-half.
Emmanuel Emenike: Less to do by the end, but he looked to get at the Bosnian defence whenever the opportunity arose.
Shola Ameobi: Did his part keeping Bosnia and Herzegovina out as Nigeria held onto their lead.
Ejike Uzoenyi: Not hugely involved but like Ameobi offered a fresh pair of legs on a tiring night.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Player||Half-Time Ratings||Full-Time Ratings|
|Tino Sven Susic||N/A||5|
Bosnia and Herzegovina Half-Time Analysis
Asmir Begovic: could do little about the goal and has not had too much to deal with otherwise
Mensur Mujdza: solid enough on his side so far
Toni Sunjic: has not dealt with being put on the back foot so well
Emir Spahic: was completely outmuscled by Emenike for Nigeria's goal; needs to be stronger
Haris Medunjanin: some good work going forward
Muhamed Besic: has been caught out in possession on a couple of occasions; not fully adjusting to the pace of the game
Izet Hajrovic: his team's best player; has been a nuisance for Nigeria coming in off the right wing
Zvjezdan Misimovic: a threat going forward; just lacking some quality in his final ball
Senad Lulic: finding it hard when the Nigerians step things up
Miralem Pjanic: influential when he has been involved but not getting on the ball enough
Edin Dzeko: unlucky to have a goal disallowed but might have done better with several other chances
Bosnia and Herzegovina Full-Time Analysis
Asmir Begovic: Made some good stops as Nigeria looked to add to their lead.
Mensur Mujdza: Less to deal with down his flank, but did a decent job stifling Nigeria and turning the ball the other way when they did come.
Toni Sunjic: Again found it hard to deal with the speed and movement of the opposition attack.
Emir Spahic: Better than in the first-half, but he was given an easier time of it as the Nigerians eased off.
Senad Lulic: Mercifully substituted after a rough night.
Haris Medunjanin: Found it harder to get involved and was soon subbed off.
Muhamed Besic: A heck of an effort from the midfielder, even if it did sometimes come in the form of overly aggressive and mistimed challenges.
Izet Hajrovic: Surprisingly withdrawn early in the second-half. Barring a fitness or injury issue, it robbed Bosnia and Herzegovina of one of their more dangerous attacks.
Zvjezdan Misimovic: Same issue as the first-half; lacking quality when counted.
Miralem Pjanic: Neat and tidy for the most part, influential on occasion. He will wonder if he could have done more, though.
Edin Dzeko: The striker will rue a number of misses that ultimately cost his side. However he did suffer from a lack of good service too.
Vedad Ibisevic: Missed a golden chance from a corner-kick but like Dzeko was not provided with much service altogether.
Sejad Salihovic: Looked to contribute but not much came his way.
Tino Sven Susic: Lively early on after his arrival, he soon disappeared.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!