Ibisevic and Dzeko head for comeback
Bosnia-Herzegovina boosted their hopes of qualifying for UEFA EURO 2012 by coming from behind to defeat Romania 2-1 tonight. With Group D leaders France already on 12 points from five matches after beating Luxembourg on yesterday, the home side knew they needed a win to close the gap.
It did not look good when Ciprian Marica put the visitors ahead on 29 minutes, but Vedad Ibisevic headed in an equaliser just after the hour and Edin Dzeko scored the winner seven minutes from time.
Bosnia-Herzegovina now have seven points from four games, while Romania have just two and look destined for a long struggle. Romania coach Razvan Lucescu received mixed injury news before the game, with striker Adrian Mutu passed fit, but Inter Milan defender Cristian Chivu ruled out with muscle inflammation.
The visitors had to soak up some early pressure from the home side as Haris Medunjanin and Ibisevic had shots blocked. At the other end Gabriel Torje fired over from 20 yards before Romania goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon was called into action to save a shot from Zvjezdan Misimovic.
Pantilimon also saved Dzeko's 18-yard shot on 21 minutes and his side then took a surprise lead when Marica found space on the left-hand side of the area to fire home after Razvan Rat's cross.
That sparked the home side into life and Pantilimon tipped Zvjezdan Misimovic's shot around the post, but Bosnia-Herzegovina failed to take advantage of five corners in quick succession before the interval.
Romania forced the first chance of the second half on 54 minutes, but Gabriel Torje saw his 20-yard effort saved by Kenan Handzic. The home fans were starting to get restless, but eventually saw their side equalise on 63 minutes as Ibisevic headed home from Misimovic's left-wing cross.
Manchester City striker Dzeko completed the comeback in the closing stages with another header from 12 yards out.