Bosnia boost Euro hopes
Bosnia-Herzegovina boosted their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2012 with a comfortable win over Albania.
Last Updated: 07/06/11 11:03pm
Bosnia-Herzegovina boosted their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2012 with a comfortable win over Albania in Zenica.
Second-half goals from Haris Medunjanin and Darko Maletic saw off Albania, who were reduced to 10 men three minutes from time when Andi Lila was dismissed.
The win leaves Bosnia three points behind Group D leaders France and two behind second-placed Belarus, who beat minnows Luxembourg 2-0.
Albania forced a corner in the first minute, but Ervin Skela's delivery was fired over the crossbar by Armand Dalku.
Bosnia responded and Medunjanin forced a save from visiting goalkeeper Samir Ujkani before Senad Lulic shot wide.
Miralem Pjanic's left-foot cross-shot flashed wide of the far post and Zvjezdan Misimovic drilled a free-kick from 20 yards out into the wall.
Ujkani saved from the Dynamo Moscow midfielder and home goalkeeper Kenan Hasagic held Skela's volley before another Misimovic effort, blocked by Ansi Agolli, brought an end to a goalless half.
The impressive Misimovic provided the best effort yet 11 minutes after the break when his 20-yard strike forced Ujkani to save with his feet.
The half as a whole produced little in the way of goalmouth action, though Edin Dzeko headed wide shortly before the home team finally broke the deadlock in the 67th minute.
Medunjanin ran onto Boris Pandza's long through-ball and finished low past Ujkani with his left foot.
Albania were unable to find a response and their frustration spilled over three minutes from time when Lila hacked down Elvir Rahimic and was shown a straight red card.
Maletic took advantage when he slotted home Misimiovic's through-ball in stoppage time, and substitute Zlatan Muslimovic went close to a third when he fired narrowly wide from 12 yards.