Edin Dzeko of Bosnia and Herzegovina ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Wednesday Jun 25, 2014. 19:58
Bosnia and Herzegovina did Nigeria a massive favour by defeating Iran 3-1 in their final 2014 World Cup Group F clash in Salvador on Wednesday.
The result sees the Super Eagles join Argentina in progressing into the last 16 despite a defeat to the South American heavyweights in a simultaneous match in Porto Alegre.
Bosnia, who had lost narrowly to both Argentina and Nigeria in their first two group matches, were determined to end their tournament on a high and goals from Edin Dezko, Miralem Pjanic and Avdija Vrsaljevic ensured they did just that.
Dzeko opened the scoring midway through the first half with a crisp left-footed finish that had the beating of Iran goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi.
And Dzeko turned provider for the European side’s second goal just before the hour mark, playing a perfectly-weighted ball for Pjanic to sweep home with his right foot and make it 2-0.
Iran gave themselves hope of an unlikely comeback when Reza Ghoochannejhad turned home the ball from close range in the 82nd minute after some poor defending by Bosnia, but it was no more than a false dawn as Vrsaljevic restored the two-goal cushion on a counter attack just a minute later.
Bosnia and Herzegovina end third in Group F on three points, while Iran finished bottom with one point.