Bosnia and Herzegovina coach Safet Sušić is not getting carried away with his highflying team after they established a three-point lead at the top of FIFA World Cup qualifying Group G with a 3-1 win against second-placed Greece, saying: "Victory is great, but there is no euphoria."
The success in Zenica was Bosnia and Herzegovina's fourth in five games in the section and put some daylight between themselves and their opponents, who they had not beaten in six previous meetings. Though excitement is beginning to build in the Balkan nation and a place at a first major tournament is starting to loom into view, Sušić is doing his best to play things down, mindful of tough away tests which lie ahead in Latvia, Slovakia and Lithuania.
"We won, great, and perhaps this is our greatest victory so far," he said. "The road to Brazil is [still] wide open and we are at the halfway stage now. There are still five games to play and three more away matches. Now the onus is on us, because if we fail to qualify there will be no way of justifying it. Victory is great, but there is no euphoria."
Edin Džeko started and finished the scoring for the hosts, extending his national-team record to 28 with a goal in each half. Both were set up by his former VfL Wolfsburg team-mate Zvjezdan Misimović, who also squandered a 36th-minute penalty. "It is not easy to score three goals against Greece," said Manchester City FC forward Džeko. "I managed to score two, but we were so good that if I didn't score somebody else would have. We played so well that we had to win.
"We still have a lot of work to do, but I am confident that we can go on to assemble one of the best teams in the world. Of course, our victory would have been difficult to achieve without our supporters, who cheered for us throughout. They were singing in Zenica before, during and after the match."
While Džeko took the man-of-the-match award, praise was also forthcoming for captain Emir Spahić, who ignored doctor's orders to play with a sinus problem. "Regardless of the medical advice, I could not leave my team-mates," said the FC Anji Makhachkala defender. "I forgot about the pain. The best cure is victory and a lot of support from our fans at the stadium, as well as other cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is [too] early to predict anything, but we are well on the way to Brazil."
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