The Bosnia and Herzegovina national team got their UEFA Nations League campaign off to a winning start on Saturday afternoon. The new competition could help the Dragons reach EURO 2020, as they have yet to qualify for a continental championship at senior level.
In the above-mentioned match, they took on Northern Ireland at Winsor Park in Belfast and defeated their hosts by a score of 2-1. It was the opening match of Group 3 in League B, a section in which Austria is the only other team involved.
Surprisingly, Northern Ireland was completely dominant throughout the match. That is, until they were in front of the Bosnian goal, where they mostly struggled to even create meaningful chances.
The visitors on the other hand, had major troubles getting the ball out of their own danger zone at times, but were ruthlessly efficient at the other end. They converted on two of arguably three chances they had to score.
Dynamo Dresden winger Haris Duljević broke the deadlock after more than half an hour, with his first international goal. After the hour-mark, Elvis Sarić incredibly doubled the lead for Bosnia, while Will Grigg made it a more realistic score line in added time.
This game was a classic example of how simple the Beautiful Game really is.
It showed that it does not matter how many shots on goal the teams have. (8 to 3 for Northern Ireland) It does not matter how many corners they have (18 to 1 for Northern Ireland), or how much ball possession, (67% to 33% in favor of the hosts as well). All that matters is what you do with what you have. (All statistics via uefa.com)
But with all of that said, Bosnia must drastically improve to even have a chance against Austria on Tuesday, because they cannot have this much luck again.