Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-0 Netherlands: Dutch denied

There were no goals in Zenica as the hosts held the Oranje.

Highlights: Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-0 Netherlands
Highlights: Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-0 Netherlands

Bosnia and Herzegovina held on to deny the Netherlands as Frank de Boer's reign continued with a stalemate in his first competitive game in charge.

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Netherlands: as it happened, reaction

Match in brief

Reaction: Wijnaldum disappointment at Dutch draw
Reaction: Wijnaldum disappointment at Dutch draw

The visitors had the better of the chances throughout but were unable to find the breakthrough. Stefan de Vrij spurned a good early opening when he was unable to get power or direction on his header from Quincy Promes's free-kick.

Indeed, there were no shots on target at all in the first half, but things improved after the break, with Miralem Pjanić denied by Jasper Cillessen in the Netherlands goal. By the end, however, it was all one-way traffic, Ibrahim Šehić thwarting Frenkie de Jong and then, from the resultant corner, namesake Luuk.

Frenkie de Jong was also kept out by a brilliant block from Darko Todorović, before Ryan Babel blasted wide from close range in added time. The result leaves the Netherlands second in the group on four points, level with leaders Italy ahead of their meeting with Poland this evening. Bosnia and Herzegovina remain bottom on two.

Fedja Krvavac, Bosnia and Herzegovina reporter

Miralem Pjanić posed a threat for Bosnia and Herzegovina
Miralem Pjanić posed a threat for Bosnia and HerzegovinaAFP via Getty Images

Once again Bosnia and Herzegovina showed that they are suited to coming up against the stronger opponents in this tier with a dogged performance so soon after their UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying heartbreak. There were six changes from that match, but they defended well and it was only in the last ten minutes that they came under real pressure. They were also a threat on the counter throughout and this will soften the blow of Thursday's penalty exit.

Derek Brookman, Netherlands reporter

Overall, a pretty flat performance by Frank De Boer's side. Lots of possession, few genuine chances. It was only really when Steven Berghuis was introduced that they managed to put the Bosnian defence under any sustained pressure and create a number of semi-decent openings. It was a just a shame Babel couldn't guide his shot on target in the dying moments. That's now two games in a row without a goal for the new national coach, which must be somewhat worrying for him.

Reaction

Van Dijk in possession for the Netherlands
Van Dijk in possession for the NetherlandsAFP via Getty Images

Virgil van Dijk, Netherlands defender: "We expected to win here. But the tempo was too low in possession, especially in the first half. After the break our organisation was better and we put them under more pressure, but we generally created too few clear chances. We also made it relatively easy for Bosnia to defend against us."

Rade Krunić, Bosnia and Herzegovina midfielder: "We played a great game because we had little time to rest more mentally than physically. We showed in Italy, and even today that we can deal with everyone, and with a little luck we could have won. They had possession of the ball but didn't have much of a chance, except at the end of the match when we fell down physically."

Dušan Bajević, Bosnia and Herzegovina coach: "We knew before the game what awaited us. First of all I congratulate the players on the extremely good fighting spirit and the game they gave us. In the end, we were the ones who had two or three more mature chances, although they could have scored towards the end."

Key stats

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina have only lost one of their previous seven UEFA Nations League matches (W3 D3).
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina have kept a clean sheet in four of their last six UEFA Nations League matches and have only conceded four in their last seven.
  • Miralem Pjanić has moved level with Emir Spahić as Bosnia and Herzegovina's second most-capped player with 94 appearances.
  • The Netherlands are still looking for their first away win in the UEFA Nations League (D2 L2).
  • The Netherlands had only failed to score in only two of their previous eight UEFA Nations League matches.
  • The Netherlands have only conceded two goals in their last six games.
The Netherlands were kept at bay by their hosts
The Netherlands were kept at bay by their hostsAFP via Getty Images

Line-ups

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Šehić; Todorović, Hadzikadunic, Saničanin, Kadušić (Kolašinac 46); Pjanić (Lončar 75), Cimirot, Krunić (Hodžić 75); Tatar (Hadžiahmetović 54), Djurić (Džeko 60), Gojak

Netherlands: Cillessen; Dumfries (Hateboer 70), De Vrij, Van Dijk, Blind (Aké 86); De Roon, Wijnaldum, F. de Jong; Malen (Berghuis 70), L. de Jong, Promes (Babel 86)

What's next?

The Bosnians visit Poland on Wednesday while the Netherlands play in Italy.