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EC Qualification

  • November 11, 2011
  • • 19:00
  • • Stadion Bilino Polje, Zenica
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 12352
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Bosnia & Herzegovina 0-0 Portugal: Ibisevic wasteful for hosts as play-off clash ends in stalemate

Bosnia & Herzegovina 0-0 Portugal: Ibisevic wasteful for hosts as play-off clash ends in stalemate

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Neither side dazzled in a fairly balanced game in which both teams failed to take their chances in Zenica

Bosnia & Herzegovina and Portugal played out a goalless draw in the first leg of their Euro 2012 play-off in an uninspiring affair at Bilino Polje.

There were plenty of chances throughout the match, but both teams were guilty of missing some glorious opportunities as the affair ended 0-0.

The game got off to a sluggish start, but it was Portugal who were seemingly in control in the early minutes. The first pop on goal came from Raul Meireles, who saw a volley from outside the box saved after a great team move involving Nani and Helder Postiga.

The Seleccao had no trouble containing the timid hosts, who went through most of the first half without taking a single shot. Postiga was presented with two great chances just before the 20-minute mark, but first blasted over the bar and then failed when he tried a bicycle-kick.

Portugal continued to press cautiously, but were struggling to string good team moves in front of Asmir Begovic. Cristiano Ronaldo was growing more and more into the game and nearly scored the opener in the 25th minute, when he saw a shot from inside the box blocked by Sanel Jahic.

Not much changed after the break as Portugal continued to be the more dangerous of the two teams, while Bosnia and Herzegovina were struggling to be efficient in the final third.

Ronaldo was presented the best chance of the game in the 52nd minute, but he failed to find the target with only Begovic to beat after he was released by Nani with a sublime back-heel pass.

Postiga was next in line to frustrate Portugal's fans moments later, when he failed to put away a simple chance after Adnan Zahirovic gifted the ball to the striker near the penalty spot, following a free-kick by Joao Moutinho.

Shortly after the hour-mark Ronaldo saw a shot from inside the box blocked, but it was clear to everyone that Portugal were dropping down a gear. This allowed the hosts to take the initiative and try to make a breakthrough late in the game.

Substitute Vedad Ibisevic was the main culprit for Bosnia & Herzegovina as in the space of seven minutes he missed three great chances.

First, he failed to shoot under no pressure at all from inside the box, and then sent a timid shot with only Rui Patricio to beat, before blasting over when clean through on goal.

Much to the dismay of the hosts, the game ended in a goalless draw, meaning Safet Susic's men have it all to do in this Euro 2012 qualification play-off tie as the two teams meet again next Tuesday in Portugal for the second leg.

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