In one of the most entertaining and competitive pre-World Cup friendlies, Bosnia Herzegovina defeated the Ivory Coast by a score of 2-1 thanks to a brace from Manchester City front man Edin Dzeko. The lone goal for the Ivorians was scored by Didier Drogba, the man who also made his 100th appearance for his beloved nation.
Bosnia Herzegovina played a game that required their players to be extremely fit, as they made life extremely difficult for the Ivorians by pegging them back in their own half for the majority of the game. Their game plan was to force their opponents to lose the ball in midfield so they could hit them on the counter. They swarmed the entire field, forcing the Ivorians to rely on individual skill to create bits of space.
Drogba’s entrance into the game midway into the second half changed the game completely. He was able to gain possession of the ball from his hard-working teammates to dribble into the area to cause problems for the Bosnian defense. He even earned two free kicks, with the second one eventually hitting the back of the net in brilliant fashion.
The African nation were without their most influential midfield, Yaya Toure, who is perhaps being saved for a later date to avoid potential injury. He will be dictating most of the playmaking in the heart of the park during the World Cup. He can score, assist, dribble, hold off opponents and even win possession at any given time. If he had played tonight, this scoreline truly could have been different.
As for Bosnia, their team was intact with coach Safet Susic clearly having implemented his style into the minds of the players. They made no mistakes except for getting back late at times to give away free kicks that they shouldn’t have. Sometimes pushing up a bit too much or being fatigued can ruin a game plan. Once Susic clears up a few issues, the team could be set.
Both teams are expected to have decent tournaments, but will not be winning the cup by any means as there are teams who have far superior talent and experience at this level.