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World Cup 2014

Nigeria 1 Bosnia 0: Highlights, key battles and what the result means

Published on Jun 22, 2014 8:25 AM
Bosnia's Vedad Ibisevic fights for the ball with Nigeria's Kenneth Omeruo and goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama during the 2014 World Cup Group F football match between Nigeria and Bosnia at the Pantanal arena in Cuiaba June 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

A match which either side can ill-afford to lose was settled after half an hour, when Stoke City forward Peter Odemwingie slotted home from close range past his club teammate, Bosnia goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Both sides lost their first group match, and need a win to boost their hopes of advancing to the last-16. With the win, Nigeria put themselves in prime position to advance with Argentina from Group F.


While both sides set up to attack, they found clear-cut chances hard to come by as both defences held firm.

Then in the 29th minute, Nigerian forward Emmanuel Emenike won a tussle with Bosnia captain and left-back Emir Spahic - illegally, as Bosnia later complained - and passed to an onrushing Odemwingie. The Stoke City forward made no mistake as he slammed home from close range.

Bosnia tried to pile on the attack in the second half, but Nigeria instead looked far more likely to add another goal during their counter-attacks.

Still, there was late drama in the Nigerian penalty box, with captain and goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama saved two point-blank attempts from Edin Dzeko to deny Bosnia any points.

Key battle

Emenike took up position near the right flank from the start of the match, and set about to torment Bosnia captain Spahic for the entire game. Far too strong for the left-back, the Fenerbahce forward simply brushed aside Spahic's challenges and bulldozed repeatedly past him.

It was from one of these bruising runs that Emenike provide the assist for Odemwingie to score Nigeria's winner. Bosnia complained bitterly that Spahic was pushed, but to no avail.

Man of the Match

Undoubtedly it was Emenike (right), who should have capped his fine night with a goal in the second half. An absolute beast, full of strength and speed, he should prove a handful for Argentina in their final group match.

What the result means

The result breathes life into Nigeria's campaign. With four points, they move to second in Group F behind Argentina. (This result also confirms Argentina's qualification to the last-16; they cannot finish lower than 2nd place in Group F.)

Nigeria still have work to do, as they need a point against Argentina in their final group stage to fend off Algeria (who have 1 point) and advance.

As for Bosnia, they are out of their first World Cup campaign, with two defeats and zero points.