Nigeria vs Bosnia and Herzegovina World Cup 2014: Newcomers find out World Cup can be a cruel place

Edin Dzeko has goal wrongly disallowed and hit the post late on in defeat

They were heroes before a ball had even been kicked but Safet Susic’s pioneering Bosnia team have just discovered the truth about the World Cup: it can be a cruel place.

Beaten by a piece of Lionel Messi brilliance in their opening fixture, Bosnia suffered elimination after a second Group F defeat on Saturday against Nigeria in a match where Edin Dzeko had a goal wrongly disallowed and struck a post in injury time.

The match officials’ decision to rule out Dzeko’s 20th-minute strike was a pivotal moment that went against the Balkan side, according to Susic. “Had they allowed the goal, this would probably have changed the match,” said the coach. “I was told there was no offside. But this is not the first or last refereeing mistake, not just at the World Cup or elsewhere.”

Susic once again started with just Dzeko up front – with fellow striker Vedad Ibisevic taking the field 11 minutes into the second half – and he lamented his side’s lethargic display, summed up when Dzeko scuffed an injury time shot that struck Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and bounced on to a post.

“They are all depressed, disappointed, silent,” he said of his team, adding: “You see what kind of chances we wasted, like the one in stoppage time. If our players don’t play at their usual level, it is normal for us to not beat teams of the approximately the same quality.”

As for Nigeria, they have endured plenty of frustrations on the world stage – including an opening goalless draw with Iran – but Saturday’s narrow success left them in sight of the second round for the first time since 1998. The Super Eagles had won none of their eight previous World Cup fixtures since the first round at France 98 but finally ended that drought thanks to Peter Odemwingie’s first-half winning goal.

Bosnia complained that Odeminwingie had fouled their captain Emir Spahic in the build-up but the goal stood and Nigeria duly moved on to four points in second place in Group F behind Argentina.

“It’s been 16 years and no wins for our country so we are very excited,” said Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi. “Victories affect people in different ways so we are looking up now and if we get into the second round anything can happen.”

Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
News
Robyn Lawley
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star