Striker Edin Dzeko scored a magnificent goal, but it was called offside wrongfully. This is what will be talked about for a long time as Bosnia were eliminated from the World Cup today with one match to play after losing 1-0 to Nigeria.
The Bosnians played a smart game, but had trouble maintaining Nigeria’s man of the match, Emmanuel Emenike, who assisted Peter Odemwingie on the game’s only goal. Emenike had actually fouled captain Emir Spahic prior to crossing the ball that led to the goal, but the referee decided not to make the correct call. That is two things the referees wrongfully decided.
To say that Bosnia deservedly lost would be the biggest lie anyone could tell regarding this match. They lost to Argentina, which made sense as they were slightly outplayed, but today’s game was decided by the referees. However, they failed to press Nigeria high and hard up the field, something they did against the Ivory Coast in a World Cup warm-up friendly that actually forced several errors. Maybe heat and fatigue played a factor, but giving them so much space in their own third made this game too hard to win in or even tie in the second half.
Nigeria managed to play a better game in the second half against a visibly-depleted Bosnia side that could only create slowly on the counter. They did today what they failed to do against Iran: pass the ball calmly and accurately while being aware of what the opponent is capable of. They showed that they could hold onto possession, win 50-50 battles and actually play a smart game on both flanks as well as straight down the middle.
Now, Argentina sit alone at the top with six points, Nigeria right behind them with four, Iran with one and Bosnia still with zero. If Nigeria can defeat Argentina, they win the group. However, that is something that will most likely not occur as the Argentinians will create plenty while pressing the ball constantly throughout the game.