Bosnia and Herzegovina played its fifth game of the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying campaign on Thursday evening. It was a home match against Liechtenstein.
Not only due to the opposition (which is made up of part-timers and low-level professionals representing the principality) were the Bosnian Dragons in desperate need of a victory on the night.
With only one win and one draw from the opening four encounters, chances for direct qualification were beginning to fade.
It is of course true that Bosnia has ensured at least a playoff spot, by virtue of having won their UEFA Nations League group last year. But the complicated new playoff system far from guarantees a place at the tournament, which they are eager to reach for the first time as an independent nation.
The Dragons achieved their ultimate objective of the night by winning 5-0, but the performance was not anywhere near as convincing as the lopsided score line would suggest. For starters, four of the five goals came in the final ten minutes.
With the result only at 1-0, as it was for seemingly all of the match, there were a few scary moments in which the underdog visitors from the principality seemed close to what would have been a deeply embarrassing equalizer.
It was in fact so bad, that even the otherwise loyal and passionate supporters in Zenica started booing and whistling at their own team during parts of the second half!
Only toward the very end did the Lichtenstein side become visibly tired, making it easy for their opponents to find four more goals in the end.
Dinamo Zagreb man Amer Gojak scored twice on the night. While an Andreas Malin own-goal, as well as strikes by Edin Džeko and Edin Višća respectively provided the rest of the goals.
Bosnia plays Armenia away next, which will be a much more difficult opponent.