Football: Boskov calls for all-out attack

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The Independent Online
THE YUGOSLAVIA coach, Vujadin Boskov, has blamed over-confidence for the 2-1 defeat against the Repulic of Ireland on Wednesday, and called for all-out attack as his side aim to beat Macedonia twice in four days to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2000.

Boskov said yesterday: "I found it unimaginable that we could be defeated by the likes of Ireland. Our players are head and shoulders above theirs in terms of quality, but I guess we underestimated them a bit too much."

Yugoslavia host Macedonia tomorrow before the away rematch on Wednesday, after the original schedule was altered as a result of Nato air strikes against the country earlier this year. "We must now beat Macedonia both at home and away to stay in contention for a berth in the European Championship next year," Boskov said.

Boskov's team lie third in Group Eight with 10 points from five games, while the Irish are top with 12 points from five matches and second-placed Croatia have 11 from six.

Boskov said his men would not repeat the same mistakes after losing to the "minnows" of Ireland, adding: "We have learned our lesson and will be more aggressive and attack-minded against Macedonia."

Yugoslavia's veteran striker Dejan Savicevic, has blamed the Irish defeat on the ball. "Never have so many of my passes gone astray. I've never played with a worse ball," he said.

Meanwhile, Sweden can take an even firmer grip on Group Five by defeating Bulgarian today, a result that would leave England and Poland with only a theoretical chance of qualifying automatically for the finals.

Unbeaten Sweden will miss Sunderland's Stefan Schwarz, who is suspended, with Daniel Andersson set to replace him. The Swedes will be boosted, however, by the return of the midfielder Par Zetterberg, who is back after a year out with a severe knee injury. Bulgaria, who can no longer qualify, have no major injury worries.