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Season review: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Published: Thursday 13 June 2013, 9.30CET
FK Željezničar secured their sixth league title with two games to spare, but the Sarajevo club ended the season on a humbling note by losing to NK Široki Brijeg in the cup final.
by Fuad Krvavac
from Sarajevo
Season review: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Željezničar celebrate retaining the Bosnian Premier League title ©Fedja Krvavac
Published: Thursday 13 June 2013, 9.30CET

Season review: Bosnia and Herzegovina

FK Željezničar secured their sixth league title with two games to spare, but the Sarajevo club ended the season on a humbling note by losing to NK Široki Brijeg in the cup final.

FK Željezničar were again the team to beat in 2012/13 as they captured another championship crown, their sixth overall. The Blues fell short in their pursuit of a domestic double, though, succumbing on penalties to NK Široki Brijeg in the Bosnian and Herzegovinian Cup final.

Champions: FK Željezničar
Željezničar retained the title, their third in four seasons, adding weight to their status as Bosnia and Herzegovina's most eminent club. The capital team boasted an unbeaten home record and finished six points clear of closest pursuers and city rivals FK Sarajevo.

Cup final: FK Željezničar 1-1 NK Široki Brijeg (Široki Brijeg win 5-4 on pens)
After the first instalment in Sarajevo ended 1-1, Šaban Pehilj forced spot kicks in the return fixture with a late strike to cancel out Wagner's opener for Široki Brijeg. Luka Bilobrk made the decisive save in the shoot-out, stopping Muamer Svraka's effort, as Slaven Musa's men avenged last year's defeat by the same opposition and registered a second triumph in this competition.

*European places: 
FK Željezničar – UEFA Champions League second qualifying round
NK Široki Brijeg – UEFA Europe League second qualifying round
FK Sarajevo – UEFA Europe League first qualifying round
HŠK Zrinjski – UEFA Europe League first qualifying round

*subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Player of the Year: Muamer Svraka (FK Željezničar)
The ace in Amar Osim's pack, Svraka weighed in with eight goals from midfield and saved a string of sparking displays for the cup. The 24-year-old also caught the eye of national team coach Safet Sušić and has scored twice in five appearances since making his debut last May.

One to watch: Armin Hodžić (FK Željezničar)
The highly-rated player joined Liverpool FC in May 2011 but was loaned back to the champions for this term. He swiftly recaptured his form on home soil, while notching five goals for Bosnia and Herzegovina in the qualifying rounds for the 2013 UEFA European Under-19 Championship.

Surprise package: FK Radnik Bijeljina
Tipped to struggle in only their second season as a top-flight outfit, Radnik defied expectation to beat the drop once more. Much of the club's success can be attributed to mercurial midfielder Marko Basara, a player regarded as one of the division's finest.

Leading scorer: Emir Hadžic, FK Sarajevo (20)

Relegated: OFK Gradina, NK GOŠK Gabela

Promoted: NK Vitez, FK Mladost Velika Obarska

Number 3
Only three coaches remained in their jobs throughout the season: Amar Osim (Željeničar), Vlado Jagodić (NK Čelik Zenica) and Vladimir Gaćinović (FK Leotar).

Quote
"Stability within the club and unity among the fans is a recipe for success." 
Željezničar coach Osim underlines his footballing philosophy

Last updated: 30/05/14 9.41CET

Related information

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http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=bih/news/newsid=1962179.html#season+review+bosnia+herzegovina

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