Nigeria vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina: World Cup Group F Score, Grades and Reaction

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2014

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Images

Bosnia-Herzegovina became the latest European side to crash out of the 2014 World Cup after falling to a 1-0 defeat to Nigeria in Group F on Saturday.

With Spain and England already on the way home, the Bosnians became the third eliminated from the continent, thanks to Peter Odemwingie’s goal.

Bosnia felt a sense of injustice after their loss to Argentina in the opening game. There was a similar feeling here, as they had a perfectly good goal disallowed with the score at 0-0. But in truth, they were second best to a Nigeria side that oozed pace and power.

Nigeria were disappointing in their opening match of the tournament, looking bereft of ideas against Iran, but they were far brighter early on in Cuiaba.

A sloppy pass from Emir Spahic put Haris Medunjanin in trouble, and he had no choice but to pull down Ahmed Musa.

Odemwingie almost made Bosnia pay a heavy price, but his free-kick went narrowly wide.

Bosnia enjoyed decent spells of possession and were unfortunate not to take the lead on 21 minutes.

Two clever passes from Mirajem Pjanic and Zvjezdan Misimovic slipped in Edin Dzeko, who clipped a fine finish beyond Vincent Enyeama.

The Bosnian celebrations were cut short by an offside flag, but replays suggested Dzeko had timed his run to perfection.

There were no extravagant protests from the Bosnians, who simply got on with the game. It may be that they felt other chances would come their way.

Two minutes later, another one did come. Medunjanin threaded a ball through to Dzeko on this occasion.

CUIABA, BRAZIL - JUNE 21: Peter Odemwingie of Nigeria scores his team's first goal past Asmir Begovic of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group F match between Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina at Arena Pantanal on June 21, 2014 in Cuiab
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

There was no flag, but Enyeama thwarted the forward with a fine save, standing tall as the Manchester City man bore down on him. 

After riding their luck, Nigeria took the lead on 29 minutes. Emmanuel Emenike showed great strength and desire to outmuscle Spahic down the left-hand side, which was a rich seam that Nigeria mined. Emenike had time to look up and pick out Odemwingie, who swept the ball home.

It took Bosnia the best part of 15 minutes to craft any sort of response, as Nigeria controlled the tempo. But a minute before the break, Miralem Pjanic picked out Dzeko only to see the forward blaze over the bar.

Asmir Begovic was the busier of the two keepers at the start of the second half, and on three occasions he kept his side in the tournament.

He repelled two long-range drives from Michel Babatunde, and then raced out to make a smothering save at the feet of Emenike.

Bosnia coach Safet Susic threw on Vedad Ibisevic to provide an attacking foil for Dzeko.

Ibisevic had a massive chance to draw his side level 15 minutes from time when rising unmarked at a corner, but he timed his effort horribly and it flew off his shoulder.

Bosnia had plenty of the ball in the final 10 minutes as they went in search of the goal they needed to stay in the competition, but they failed to truly test Enyeama.

One big chance did fall to Dzeko at the death, but Enyeama pushed his shot onto the post. 

For Bosnia, their first World Cup will end in disappointment.

Nigeria, meanwhile, have the chance to progress. They face Argentina in their final game knowing a point will take them through. Even a defeat might not be terminal, provided Bosnia-Herzegovina do not lose to Iran.

Nigeria Player Ratings
Player1st-half rating2nd-half rating
Vincent Enyeama7.58
Joseph Yobo56.5
Efe Ambrose66.5
Kenneth Omeruo56.5
Juwon Oshaniwa56
John Obi Mikel5.56
Ogenyi Onazi66
Michael Babatunde6.56.5
Peter Odemwingie7.57
Ahmed Musa86.5
Emmanuel Emenike88
Shola Ameobi6
Ejike Uzoenyi6
Bosnia-Herzegovina Player Ratings
Player1st-half rating2nd-half rating
Asmir Begovic57
Mensur Mujdza65
Toni Sunjic55
Emir Spahic44.5
Haris Medunjanin66
Muhamed Besic5.56
Izet Hajrovic6.56
Zvjezdan Misimovic6.56
Senad Lulic55
Miralem Pjanic76
Edin Dzeko6.56
Vedad Ibisevic6
Sejad Salihovic6
Tino Sven Susic6


Post-Match Reaction

Odwmeingie spoke to the BBC after the game and felt it was a deserved win, their first at a World Cup since 1998.

It has been 16 years and no victory for our country and our fans so we are excited about that.

We had to work hard, they are a quality team with a great midfield, Edin Dzeko, fantastic players.

It was difficult to get this three points, but we are happy to bounce back after what our people felt was a poor performance in the first game.