Bosnians bid farewell by eliminating Iran

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Iran failed to pull off the result they needed to qualify for the second round as they were comfortably dispatched by Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-1.

Bosnia and Herzegovina grabbed their first victory in history in the World Cup finals after goals from Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic and Avdija Vrsaljevic gave the team a 3-1 win in the third round Group F match over Iran on Wednesday.

"I can congratulate my player for good football and deserved victory,"said Safet Susic, coach of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the post match news conference.

"Although Iran had their chances, I think we created more chances.Throughout the match we were the team that wanted to win and dominated the match. I think we can hold our heads up high when we come back to our homeland."

Although the Iranians were eager to grab a win in order to keep their last 16 hope alive, it was Bosnia and Herzegovina that controlled the rhythm early into the match.

Man City star forward Dzeko brought down the ball and lashed toward home in the box four minutes into the match, only to see his effort deflected off the target.

But the 1.93-meter striker did not wait for long to open the scoring. His accurate long shot outside of the area went beyond the reach of keeper Alireza Haghighi and into the lower corner of the net in the 23rd minute.

The dogged Iranians responded immediately as Masoud Shojaei from Spanish club Las Palmas received a low cross at the edge of the box and rattled the woodwork in the 24th minute.

Bosnia and Herzegovina led 1-0 by the break and the Iranian tried to enhance their attack to turn over the match in the second half. But for most of the time the ball was possessed by team B1osnia and Herzegovina, leaving the Iranian busy defending and pouncing for the ball.

Bosnia and Herzegovina doubled their advantage in the 60th minute. An unguarded Roma midfielder Pjanic received a through ball inside the box in an apparently offside position. He drove home with his right foot and the referee validated the goal.

Iran managed to narrow the gap to 2-1 in the 82nd minutes when Charlton Athletic striker Reza Ghoochannejhad tapped in a cross from the far post, which was Iran's first goal of the tournament.

However, Bosnia and Herzegovina only need one minute to restore their two-goal lead. A dashing Avdija Vrsaljevic outraced Iranian defender in a fast break and hit the far post before it bounced into the net.

The 3-1 loss left Iran at the bottom of Group F with only one point from three matches. Iran's coach Carlos Queiroz believe his team had tried their best but the opponents enjoyed a huge advantage in terms of experience.

"I am proud of my team and my player," The Portuguese said. "We tried our best, we went up to the limit of our mental capacity. Players fought hard and gave their all, but today the experience of the opponents and the ability to play in Europe made a difference."

It is the first victory for Bosnia and Herzegovina in their first trip to the World Cup finals. And it was also their first win against Iran since they suffered four defeats and one draw in their previous five encounters, which were all friendly matches.

"This win was very important to us. First of all we had to leave a good impression. This is not satisfactory though because we think we could done more," Susic said. "I think we should have made the extra step forward if we had more luck and if we had little less referee injustice."

Bosnia and Herzegovina had been ruled out for the knockout stage following two previous defeats to Argentina and Nigeria. Dzeko scored a goal in the team's 1-0 lose to Nigeria but was called offside. Both Dzeko and the coach believe the referee had made a terrible mistake.

Argentina and Nigeria emerged as the top two finishers in Group F and found their berth in the knockout stage which will start on Saturday.

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