NIGERIA 1, BOSNIA 0 (WORLD CUP GROUP F)
PETER ODEMWINGIE SCORES FOR NIGERIA, EDIN DZEKO GOAL WRONGLY DISALLOWED FOR OFFSIDE
Peter Odemwingie beat his own Stoke City team mate Asmir Begovic in the 29th minute when he converted Emmanuel Emenike’s cutback for Nigeria’s first World Cup finals victory since 1998 which also ended Bosnia-Hercegovina’s World Cup campaign at the group stage.
Bosnia had plenty of reasons for complaint at the result as Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko had a perfectly good goal ruled out for offside after just 21 minutes but that decision seemed to deflate them for the rest of the match as the Cuiaba heat hit them harder than the Nigerians and becalmed them in the second half.
Dzeko went on to miss a hatful of chances to get Bosnia back in the game.
Bosnia were afraid of the Nigerian pace on the counter attack and went with just one striker in Edin Dzeko again but it was their defence that let them down. Nigeria picked more offensive changes with Michel Babatunde and Odemwingie brought in to the side. The Super Eagles dominated the early game with chances by Odemwingie whose 6th minute free kick took a deflection and went wide.
First half chances for Ahmed Musa, twice, and John Obi Mikel also raised the alarm bells but the most concern came when Emenike tried to run through after intercepting a poor Bosnian pass by Emir Spahic, Haris Medunjanin had to take a yellow card to stop the Nigerian having a shot on goal.
No Manchester City player had scored yet in the World Cup so far but Edin Dzeko should have broken that duck and got Bosnia off to an early start when he latched on to a Miralem Pjanic through pass and scored after just 21 minutes. The linesman flagged for offside but replays showed that the Bosnian striker had in fact timed his run to perfection.
The Bosnians were hit by a sucker punch when Emenike beat Spahic on the Bosnian left and cut the ball back for Peter Odemwingie to tap the ball in past his Stoke team mate Asmir Begovic after 29 minutes.
Dzeko also forced Vincent Enyeama to save his shot a minute after his disallowed goal and the big Bosnian also wasted a couple of chances shortly before half time to try and claw Bosnia back into the game.
Emunike had the beating of Spahic all night and generated panic in the Bosnian defence every time he had the opportunity to run at them.
Bosnia became becalmed during the second half and Nigerian chances to finish them off cae thick as fast with Begovic tested several times by Emunike and Babatunde.
Dzeko’s touch deserted him as Bosnia’s fightback drained away in the heat of Cuiaba and it was becoming evident that the City striker was having a poor game.
His strike partner Vedad Ibisevic was sharper coming off the bench with a couple of real chances towards the end of the game including a 74th minute header but he couldn’t raise the Bosnian tempo as Nigeria bossed the remainder of the game.
Edin Dzeko completed his luckless night when he directed an injury time header from Pjanic’s cross directly at Enyeama from the six yard box and hit the post with another strike at the death.