Belgium Sink Bosnia in Sarajevo
FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFYING - GROUP H (MATCHDAY 9)
|Bosnia||3 - 4||Belgium|
Greece’s World Cup hopes received a major boost on Saturday after Belgium did the Greeks a massive favor by beating Bosnia-Herzegovina 4-3 in a thrilling match in rain-soaked Sarajevo.
Michael Skibbe’s Greece play Cyprus later tonight, and they will go into the match with a spring in their step knowing that a win will lift them two points clear of Bosnia going into the final round of games next Tuesday.
The Bosnians went into this crucial Group H clash knowing that a win - coupled with a Greece defeat against Cyprus - would assure them of second place, although that would not yet be enough to guarantee them one of the best runners-up places.
However, ahead of Tuesday's trip to Estonia, this defeat leaves Mecha Bazdarevic's team just one point ahead of Greece, who host group whipping boys Gibraltar on the same night.
The hosts began poorly, falling behind to Thomas Meunier's fourth-minute goal but, after Marouane Fellaini departed with what appeared to be a left knee injury, Bosnia leveled matters via Haris Medunjanin’s tap-in.
A woeful defensive error by Belgium’s Jan Vertonghen - who equalled Jan Ceulemans' record of 96 Belgium caps on the night – allowed Edin Visca to score as the home side moved 2-1 up before half-time.
Roberto Martinez's men improved though after the restart and equalized through Michy Batshuayi.
Vertonghen then atoned for his earlier error with a straightforward back-post finish midway through the second half, but there were still more goals and drama to come.
Dario Dumic made it 3-3 with a powerful header from a corner with eight minutes to play, but then Yannick Carrasco struck the decisive blow two minutes from the final whistle when he slotted home at the near post.
Bosnian players and fans looked completely crushed at the final whistle as the visiting Belgians managed to maintain their 100 per cent record in qualifying.