Bosnia-Herzegovina’s World Cup hopes suffered a huge setback due to Belgium’s 4-3 win over them in Sarajevo on Saturday

0 19

Belgium moved to the top of Group H after a 4-3 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina in their World Cup qualifier in Brussels.

An own goal by Emir Spahic opened the scoring on 26 minutes and Belgium doubled their lead just three minutes later when Eden Hazard got on the end of Dries Mertens’ cross.

The Euro 2016 quarterfinalists looked much the stronger side throughout the game and Roberto Martinez’s men were out of sight on the hour mark.

After winning a corner, Toby Alderweireld made it 3-0 as he got on the end of Mertens’ corner in the six-yard box.

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku scored Belgium’s fourth on 79 minutes with a superb strike into the top right corner from outside the box as the home side made it two comfortable wins in a row at the start of qualifying.

Persistent rain made for a heavy surface but Belgium made light of the difficult conditions with intricate play around the edge of the box leading to the opening goal.

The ball was worked to Eden Hazard, whose cutback enabled Meunier to sweep beyond Asmir Begovic via the knee of Ognjen Vranjes.

Bosnia’s response was swift although after tricking his way past Kevin De Bruyne from a short corner, Medunjanin could only shoot straight at Thibaut Courtois.

Bosnia continued to assert themselves and their positive play paid dividends on the half-hour.

Edin Dzeko’s effort from the tightest of angles flicked off Thomas Vermaelen and deceived Courtois, the ball running perfectly for Medunjanin to tap in from practically on the line.

Nine minutes later Bosnia were in front in scenes reminiscent of the playground as Vertonghen completely missed Begovic’s huge punt upfield and Visca raced away to fire through the legs of Courtois.

Begovic maintained his side’s lead with a fine double save from close range to deny Batshuayi and Vermaelen, but the Bournemouth goalkeeper was fortunate to see his mis-handled Hazard cross deflect onto the post on the stroke of half-time.

Batshuayi headed wide at the start of the second period and it needed a desperate goal-line block from Vranjes to keep out Toby Alderweireld as Belgium applied the pressure, which told just before the hour as Begovic spilled Carrasco’s shot and Batshuayi reacted fastest to stab home.

Worse was to come for the hosts as De Bruyne’s corner found Carrasco on the edge of the box and his mis-hit volley skewed to Vertonghen to convert from close range.

Bosnia substitute Vedad Ibisevic nodded narrowly wide and when Dzeko’s effort was deflected behind, Dumic powered in Izet Hajrovic’s corner to tee up what looked set to be a grandstand finale.

Unfortunately for the hosts, however, the telling blow arrived at the other end almost immediately as Meunier’s pass found Carrasco to fire home and leave Bosnia looking over their shoulders.