Bosnia and Herzegovina buoyed by win in Belarus
Friday, September 2, 2011
Belarus 0-2 Bosnia and Herzegovina
The visitors leapt up to second in qualifying Group D thanks to first-half strikes from Sejad Salihović and Haris Medunjanin in Minsk.
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First-half goals by Sejad Salihović and Haris Medunjanin secured Bosnia and Herzegovina an all-important 2-0 victory away against Belarus which sent them above their hosts into second spot in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group D.
With plenty to play for near the top of the section, Sergei Kornilenko threatened early on for Belarus, who were forced to make do without Aleksandr Hleb, his brother Vyacheslav and Vitali Kutuzov. Their opponents proved more clinical in front of goal, however, with Salihović registering from the spot on 22 minutes and Medunjanin adding a second just moments later.
Edin Džeko first suggested that the visitors would provide a menace only to squander his first chance, but it was he who won the penalty from which Bosnia and Herzegovina went ahead. Before the home side had properly recovered, they were two down, Medunjanin the first to a loose ball following a corner and blasting it in first time from outside the area.
Kornilenko and Anton Putilo each had good chances for Belarus as they looked for a way back into the match, but otherwise Safet Sušić's charges were able to keep things under control. That trend continued into the second half, with Sergei Kislyak shooting wide after being set up by Putilo and substitute Pavel Sitko unable to find the target with his header following a free-kick.
At the other end, Bosnia and Herzegovina went close to increasing their lead when Yuri Zhevnov saved a powerful point-blank shot by Miralem Pjanić, and the victors will look for a repeat performance when the teams are reunited in Zenica on Tuesday.