World Cup qualifier: Bosnia in pole position after sixth victory
Last Updated: 10/09/13 11:02pm
Izet Hajrovic grabbed the winner as Bosnia retained their place at the summit of Group G in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign
Goals from unlikely sources steered Bosnia to a comeback 2-1 win over Slovakia in their World Cup Group G qualifier on Tuesday and kept them on course to reach their first major tournament as an independent nation.
The result left the Bosnians top of their section with 19 points from eight games, three more than Greece who were hosting Latvia later in the day while Slovakia remain third with 12 points.
Defender Ermin Bicakcic and second-half substitute Izet Hajrovic delighted several thousand visiting Bosnian fans in a packed Zilina stadium after Marek Hamsik had given the hosts a 42nd-minute lead.
Both sides missed plenty of good chances, with Slovakia keeper Jan Mucha producing a string of superb saves before midfielder Hamsik got on the end of an Adam Nemec pass and beat Asmir Begovic with a crisp left-footed shot from 10 metres.
Bosnia, who dominated from start to finish, piled on the pressure after the break and drew level in the 69th minute after Emir Spahic headed a corner into Bicakcic's path and the left back buried the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
With Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko enduring a quiet evening thanks to some rugged Slovakia defending, Hajrovic grabbed a spectacular winner in the 78th minute when he left Mucha clutching at air with a thunderbolt from 25 metres.
Victory means Bosnia are guaranteed a play-off place, and will automatically qualify for the 2014 World Cup with wins in Lithuania and at home to Liechtenstein.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Tue 10th Sep - Group F
Russia3 - 1Israel
Luxembourg3 - 2N Ireland
Tue 10th Sep - Group G
Lithuania2 - 0Liechtenstein
Slovakia1 - 2Bosnia
Greece1 - 0Latvia
Tue 10th Sep - Group B
Armenia0 - 1Denmark
Malta1 - 2Bulgaria
Italy2 - 1Czech Rep
Tue 10th Sep - Group C
Kazakhstan0 - 1Sweden
Austria1 - 0Rep Ireland
Faroe Islands0 - 3Germany
Tue 10th Sep - Group E
Norway0 - 2Switzerland
Cyprus0 - 2Slovenia
Iceland2 - 1Albania
Tue 10th Sep - Group I
Georgia0 - 1Finland
Belarus2 - 4France
Tue 10th Sep - Group D
Romania0 - 2Turkey
Andorra0 - 2Netherlands
Hungary5 - 1Estonia
Tue 10th Sep - Group A
Macedonia1 - 2Scotland
Wales0 - 3Serbia
Tue 10th Sep - Group H
San Marino1 - 5Poland
Ukraine0 - 0England
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