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Season review: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Published: Friday 25 May 2012, 13.59CET
FK Željezničar secured their fifth Bosnian title with four games to spare, before concluding a memorable season by beating NK Široki Brijeg in the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Cup final.
by Fuad Krvavac
from Sarajevo
Season review: Bosnia and Herzegovina
FK Željezničar celebrate winning the title in Bosnia and Herzegovina ©Fedja Krvavac
Published: Friday 25 May 2012, 13.59CET

Season review: Bosnia and Herzegovina

FK Željezničar secured their fifth Bosnian title with four games to spare, before concluding a memorable season by beating NK Široki Brijeg in the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Cup final.

In contrast to the previous season, the destiny of the title followed a rather predictable path in 2011/12 as FK Željezničar triumphed at a canter, with four games remaining. The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Cup proved far more enthralling as Željezničar set the seal on a domestic double following a narrow 1-0 aggregate final victory against NK Široki Brijeg.

Champions: FK Željezničar
Željezničar drew all the plaudits after clinching their fifth league title and a second in three seasons to ensure they became Bosnia's most eminent club. The capital side boasted an unblemished home record and finished eight points clear of closest pursuers Široki. Goalkeeper Adnan Gušo also made the headlines after going 1,246 minutes without conceding a goal, a run that stretched to 14 games in all competitions.

Cup final: FK Željezničar 1-0 NK Široki Brijeg  
A week after winning the Premijer Liga title, FK Željezničar added a fifth Bosnian-Herzegovinian Cup to their collection by closing out a 1-0 aggregate success over Široki. Though the return leg finished goalless, the stalemate ensured the holders retained their trophy after winning the first leg through Muamer Svraka's solitary goal. The win also extended a 27-match unbeaten sequence in the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Cup, spanning three seasons.

European places*:
FK Željezničar - UEFA Champions League, second qualifying round
NK Široki Brijeg - UEFA Europa League, second qualifying round
FK Borac Banja Luka - UEFA Europa League, first qualifying round
FK Sarajevo - UEFA Europa League, first qualifying round

*Subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Player of the Year: Muamer Svraka (FK Željezničar)
After gaining experience on loan at NK Travnik, the 24-year-old midfielder returned with renewed purpose. In 25 appearances, Svarka notched ten goals, including a memorable hat-trick against FK Sloboda Tuzla.

One to watch: Asmir Suljić (FK Sarajevo)
The 20-year-old midfielder with Sarajevo may look frail but he caught the eye with his speed and courage, his intuitive and attractive style of play carrying vague echoes of Lionel Messi and earning him inclusion in the national Under-21 team. 

Surprise package: NK GOŠK Gabela
Hailing from the small village of Gabela, with a population of 2,500, the Bosnian minnows surpassed all expectations by avoiding relegation, finishing one place above the drop zone, following a vital 2-1 victory against FK Velež on the final day of the season.

Leading scorer: Eldin Adilović, FK Željezničar (19)

Relegated: FK Kozara Bosanska Gradiška, FK Sloboda

Promoted: FK Radnik Bijeljina and NK Gradina Srebrenik

Number: 47
The number of coaches that participated in the 2011/12 Bosnian-Herzegovinian Premier league.

Quote: 
"We are the evidence that in this country work and only work can lead to success." FK Željezničar coach Amar Osmin after leading his side to the title.

Last updated: 10/07/12 14.06CET

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http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=bih/news/newsid=1801928.html#season+review+bosnia+herzegovina

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