Dzeko double helps sink Greece
Manchester City striker hits brace for Bosnia-Herzegovina
Last Updated: 22/03/13 11:09pm
Edin Dzeko: Scored twice as Bosnia-Herzegovina beat Greece
Edin Dzeko scored twice as Bosnia-Herzegovina brushed aside Greece 3-1 in Friday night's top-of-the-table clash in Zenica to move three points clear in World Cup qualifying Group G.
Manchester City striker Dzeko opened the scoring in the 30th minute and made it 3-0 with his second eight minutes after half-time to all but wrap up the points for the hosts.
In between those two efforts Vedad Ibisevic also got his name on the scoresheet, following up to score after Zvjezdan Misimovic had seen his 35th-minute penalty parried by Greek goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis.
Greece managed to pull a late goal back through Theofanis Gekas, but it was not enough to prevent them losing their unbeaten record in Group G and a share of top spot.
In contrast, things are now looking good for Bosnia-Herzegovina to win the group and reach their first major finals, as they have already drawn in Greece and following Friday's results boast a five-point lead over third-placed Slovakia.
Safet Susic's men were quickly on the front foot tonight with Dzeko and Misimovic both testing Karnezis in the opening five minutes.
Karnezis also denied Dzeko in the 28th minute, but Bosnia-Herzegovina did not have to wait much longer to take the lead as the giant City forward glanced home a free-kick from Misimovic.
Misimovic should have made it 2-0 himself five minutes later after Bosnia-Herzegovina won a penalty when Mensur Mujdza was sent crashing inside the area by Avraam Papadopoulos, but the Guizhou Renhe forward saw his spot-kick saved by Karnezis.
Greece's joy was short-lived, though, as Ibisevic turned in the loose ball following a scramble which saw the penalty rebound turned back on to his own post by visiting midfielder Jose Holebas.
Greece tried to get something back before the break, but neither Georgios Samaras or Vassilis Torosidis could find the target with efforts from outside the box, and their attempted fightback was ended in the 53rd minute when Dzeko made it 3-0 with another header from another Misimovic assist.
Bosnia-Herzegovina were unable to keep a clean sheet as Gekas netted a 92nd-minute consolation from close range, but they will not be overly concerned with that after securing a potentially decisive victory.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Fri 22nd Mar - Group F
Israel3 - 3Portugal
Luxembourg0 - 0Azerbaijan
Fri 22nd Mar - Group B
Bulgaria6 - 0Malta
Czech Rep0 - 3Denmark
Fri 22nd Mar - Group A
Croatia2 - 0Serbia
Macedonia0 - 2Belgium
Scotland1 - 2Wales
Fri 22nd Mar - Group E
Slovenia1 - 2Iceland
Norway0 - 1Albania
Fri 22nd Mar - Group C
Kazakhstan0 - 3Germany
Austria6 - 0Faroe Islands
Sweden0 - 0Rep Ireland
Fri 22nd Mar - Group D
Andorra0 - 2Turkey
Hungary2 - 2Romania
Netherlands3 - 0Estonia
Fri 22nd Mar - Group G
Liechtenstein1 - 1Latvia
Slovakia1 - 1Lithuania
Bosnia3 - 1Greece
Fri 22nd Mar - Group H
Moldova0 - 1Montenegro
Poland1 - 3Ukraine
San Marino0 - 8England
Fri 22nd Mar - Group I
Spain1 - 1Finland
France3 - 1Georgia
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C
|4||Republic of Ireland||10||14|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I