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Široki Brijeg storm to title

Published: Wednesday 9 June 2004, 13.47CET
Bosnia-Herzegovina review: NK Široki Brijeg dominated the league to win their first championship.
Published: Wednesday 9 June 2004, 13.47CET

Široki Brijeg storm to title

Bosnia-Herzegovina review: NK Široki Brijeg dominated the league to win their first championship.

NK Široki Brijeg were crowned champions of Bosnia-Herzegovina for the first time in their history, after taking the league by storm to earn their title several rounds before the end of the season.

Collective spirit
The close-knit club may lack the big-name players of some of their rivals, but their inaugural success was down to their collective spirit and discipline. "We deservedly won the title ahead of well-known clubs NK Željeznicar, FK Sarajevo and FK Leotar. The success is a result of good organisation and team work," said club president Zlatan Jelic.

Maintained early advantage
Coach Ivo Istuk added: “We knew what we wanted from the very beginning of the season. We did not have any changes in mood or performance and we went into the winter break with a significant advantage as league leaders that we maintained until the end.”

UEFA Cup qualifiers
Željeznicar secured the runners-up position and a place in the UEFA Cup qualifying rounds. They spent most of the season in third position, nine points behind Leotar, but the Sarajevo club recovered after the winter break to finish second.

Big guns disappoint
Sarajevo, for whom Alen Skoro topped the league’s scoring charts with 21 strikes, and last season's champions Leotar disappointed, ending the season in third and fourth position respectively, while FK Sloboda Tuzla and FK Modrica pulled off surprises by finishing fifth and sixth in the table.

Modrica take Cup
FK Modrica were victorious in the cup competition by beating FK Borac Banjaluka, an excellent achievement bearing in mind that they were newly promoted to the top flight, and their reward is a place in Europe next season.

Relegation battle
Borac, NK Orašje, FK Rudar Ugljevik and NK Posušje fulfilled their plans for the season, while NK Zrinjski and NK Celik will not be satisfied at struggling all season long to just avoid relegation.

Promoted clubs
NK Travnik secured their survival in the last round with a 2-0 victory against Modrica to condemn NK Brotnjo and FK Glasinac to relegation. Next season's top-flight newcomers will be FK Slavija and FK Buducnost.

Turbulent season
It was a turbulent season for coaches, with regular sackings - and some clubs wielding the axe as many as three times. Ivo Istuk (Široki Brijeg), Nikola Rakojevic (Borac), Ivo Knezevic (Orašje) and Zvonko Zivkovic (Rudar Ugljevik) were the only coaches to start and finish the season at the same club.

Last updated: 01/02/12 4.42CET

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