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Season review: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Published: Monday 27 June 2011, 18.27CET
Last season's trophy winners swapped titles in Bosnia and Herzegovina with FK Željezničar taking the cup while relinquishing the league to first-time champions FK Borac Banja Luka.
Season review: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Borac celebrate winning their first Bosnian-Herzegovinian title ©Fedja Krvavac
Published: Monday 27 June 2011, 18.27CET

Season review: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Last season's trophy winners swapped titles in Bosnia and Herzegovina with FK Željezničar taking the cup while relinquishing the league to first-time champions FK Borac Banja Luka.

Last season's trophy winners swapped titles in Bosnia and Herzegovina, FK Željezničar taking the cup while relinquishing the league title to FK Borac Banja Luka.

Champions: FK Borac Banja Luka
A 1-0 win against Željezničar in the penultimate round of the season was enough to give Borac their first league title. The club changed coach after a 3-2 home defeat against NK Široki Brijeg on the season's opening day, new man Vlado Jagodić kicking off with a 13-game unbeaten run. They went top in mid-September and never relinquished the position, beating main title rivals Željezničar and FK Sarajevo twice. Key defenders Vule Trivunović and Bojan Puzigaća left in the winter for MKS Cracovia Kraków, but former international Branislav Krunić proved a fine acquisition in midfield.

Cup final: FK Želježničar 4-0 FK Čelik Zenica (agg)
Beaten in the two-legged final on away goals last season, Želježničar have not lost a Bosnian-Herzegovinian Cup game in two seasons and Čelik proved no match. Želježničar won 1-0 at their own Grbavica Stadium thanks to Zajko Zeba's goal, and hit three in Zenica in the rematch, Srdjan Savić, Zeba and Srdjan Stanić scoring to secure the 1980/81 Yugoslavian Cup finalists' fourth cup triumph since independence.

European places
FK Borac Banja Luka – UEFA Champions League second qualifying round
FK Sarajevo – UEFA Europa League second qualifying round
FK Želježničar – UEFA Europa League second qualifying round
NK Široki Brijeg – UEFA Europa League second qualifying round

Player of the Year: Zajko Zeba (FK Željezničar)
Chosen as the league's top player, the 28-year-old midfielder was Željezničar's chief provider as well as scoring 11 goals of his own. He left the Railway Boys in 2005, spending two seasons with NK Maribor in Slovenia before FC KAMAZ Naberezhnye Chelny took him to Russia. He returned home last summer after a fruitless season with FC Alania Vladikavkaz and made his mark with goals in both legs of his side's cup success.

One to watch: Goran Zakarić (NK Široki Brijeg)
A summer signing from lower league FK Kozara Gradiška, attacking midfielder Zakarić had a tremendous season, turning 19, representing his country at Under-19 and U21 levels and scoring six goals in 24 league games. He has signed a seven-year contract with NK Dinamo Zagreb, but will spend at least the first part of next season back on loan at the Pecara Stadium.

Surprise package: FK Olimpik Sarajevo
With their Otoka home still under reconstruction, Olimpik were forced to share Željezničar's Grbavica Stadium and the Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium, normally home to Sarajevo and the national team. Undeterred, they went one better than last year and finished fifth, reaching the cup semi-finals. Olimpik boast Muhamed Subašić – one of a handful of locally-based senior internationals – as well as U21 stars Semir Bukvić, Dženan Durak and Muhamed Mujić.

Number: 29
Oddly, no player featured in all 30 league games this season, though eight managed 29: Asmir Avdukić (FK Borac Banja Luka), Goran Maksimović (FK Drina Zvornik), Denis Mujkić (FK Sloboda Tuzla), Adi Adilović (NK Travnik), Ibrahim Šehić (FK Željezničar), Nedžad Žerić (FK Rudar Prijedor), Mateo Roskam (NK Široki Brijeg) and Dragan Ristić (FK Drina Zvornik/NK Zvijezda).

Leading scorer: Ivan Lendrić, NK Zrinjski (16)

Relegated: FK Budućnost Banovići, FK Drina Zvornik

Promoted: NK GOŠK Gabela and FK Kozara Bosanska Gradiška

Quote
"We brought the title to Banja Luka for the first time, largely thanks to beating our main rivals at their own stadiums."
Vladimir Jagodić, now coach of the national U21 team, analyses Borac's success.

Last updated: 08/07/11 16.56CET

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http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=bih/news/newsid=1644197.html#season+review+bosnia+herzegovina

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