thumbnail Hello,

EC Qualification

  • October 11, 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Stade de France, Paris
  • Referee: C. Thomson
  • • Attendance: 78467

Live Commentary

  • That's it from me folks. Thank you for joining me in this captivating encounter and remember to catch the play-off draw on Thursday from 13:00 CET, right here on I'm Mohammed Ali, and it's been a pleasure. Good night.
  • So, the road to Euro 2012 is almost complete. France join Poland and Ukraine, Italy, Germany, Spain, England, Holland, Denmark, Russia and Greece in the finals. Bosnia and Herzegovina must negotiate their way through the play-offs and could potentially play Portugal, Ireland, Czech Republic or Croatia. A hard task has gotten harder
  • Edin Dzeko's fantastic finish looked to have shocked the French in the first half. A rejuvenated second half performance from Les Bleus saw them rewarded by a penalty converted by Samir Nasri. Late chances by Dzeko and Pjanic were unsuccessful. Whilst France hit the bar through Nasri.
  • It's all over at the Stade de France, and what a match it turned out to be! France have sealed qualification to Poland and Ukraine.Bosnia, the gallant visitors settle for the play-offs.
  • 90' + 5'
  • 90' + 4'
    No is the answer as the ball trickles straight to Hugo Lloris. Long kick forward, and it's over!!
  • 90' + 4'
    It's really do or die for Bosnia now who launch one last attack! Can this be?!
  • 90' + 3'
    French fans, and indeed Laurent Blanc on the edge of their seats. A tricky match this was, but they are a minute away from sealing the point they needed to secure qualification!
  • 90' + 1'
    PAPAC!! Wayward headerfrom the Rangers defender. Misimovic puts the ball into the box from a corner, but the number 3 heads it poorly. Can they grab a late intervention?!
  • 90'
  • 89'
    Free-kick to Bosnia again, and it's cleared. Not long left in this one.
  • 88'
    Yellow Card Alou Diarra
  • 88'
    Alou Diara is booked. Free-kick to Bosnia with Miralem Pjanic pinging a 40 yard effort. Goes wide. Draws applause from Laurent Blanc.
  • 87'
    GAMEIRO!! Again, really should've been 2-1 for Les Bleus. Fantastic ball in, but the PSG man clips it wide. A difficult chance there.
  • 86'
    Electric ending to the match here! Firstly Dzeko goes close after a quick free-kick. Then, Jeremy Menez goes straight up the other way and forces Begovic into an unorthodox claw-type save. Another infringement of the Bosnian defence sees Menez try and put Gameiro in, but fails. Hugely entertaining this.
  • 85'
    MENEZ! The former Roma man has come alive in this second half, but he really should've sealed the game there and then. Played into space fantastically, he chooses to go for goal rather than pick out Gameiro.
  • 82'
    SubstitutionLoïc Remy Alou Diarra
  • 82'
    Safet Susic's men, for all their dominance in the majority of this game cannot get the ball in any area. France are looking to close this one out. Urgency needed by Bosnia as defences hold sway.
  • 81'
    Substitution for France. A Marseille change it is, Loic Remy off for Alou Diarra. Shoring up the defence, one would presume.
  • 80'
    What now for Bosnia? Already assured of a play-off spot, but can they make a break for it?! A single goal would send them automatically through. Ten minutes to go!
  • 78'
    Penalty Goal Samir Nasri
  • 78'
    Hammer blow to the Bosnians who are inundanted by chants of "Allez". Emir Spahic had the ball when challenged by Nasri, but kicking out when Nasri attempted to dispossess him was a pretty dumb move. It looked to be outside the area too. Nasri calmly slots into the bottom right hand corner.
  • 78'
  • 77'
    Emir Spahic fells Samir Nasri in the area. A huge moment for the French......
  • 76'
  • 74'
    DZEKO! Should've tucked it away and sealed qualificaiton. The number 11 fails to get behind the strike, but Lloris does spill it. No Bosnia player behind it to get the rebound.
  • 72'
    The resulting corner is again plucked out easily by Begovic. Last time France failed to qualify for the European Championships - 1988. Just another fact for you.
  • 71'
    SubstitutionHaris Medunjanin Adnan Zahirović
  • 71'
    Final change for Bosnia. It's Haris Medunjanin on for Adnan Zahirovic
  • 71'
    NASRI!! WHAT A SAVE BY BEGOVIC! The free-kick is exquisite by Samir Nasri. Curled in, and the Stoke 'keeper tips it onto the bar before Spahic clears the danger. Have France missed their golden chance?!
  • 70'
    Twenty minutes to go. Is it conceivable that Bosnia-Herz can make it to Euro 2012? Or is there a late twist to this enthralling tale? Send me your messages via Twitter to @mohammedali_93
  • 69'
    It's France's fifth corner in the last three minutes and again they don't use it to their advantage. Into the hands of Asmir Begovic who is growing in confidence.
  • 69'
    MARTIN! The free-kick is a tricky one and the Sochaux man gets it round the wall. Took an unpredictable bounce, but it's a great save by Begovic regardless.
  • 68'
    Yellow Card Boris Pandza
  • 67'
    Yellow Card Patrice Evra
  • 67'
    Pjanic contemplates whether taking the free-kick. Misimovic takes it in the end, but Reveilliere is on hand to clear his lines. Cue the counter-attack by France as Jeremy Menez races through 40 yards. Misses the first tackle but is brought down second time. Boris Pandza is booked.
  • 65'
    End-to-end stuff here at the Stade de France as Lulic attempts a drab shot at Lloris. Craig Thomson will have difficulty refeering the last half and hour as he books Patrice Evra.
  • 62'
    Darko Maletic replacs Mensur Mujdza for the visitors as France throw nearly everything in the Bosnian penalty area. Emir Spahic, Sasa Papac and others launchng their bodies to quell the onslaught. Really tense encounter this has become.
  • 61'
    SubstitutionMensur Mujdza Darko Maletic
  • 61'
    SubstitutionYohan Cabaye Kevin Gameiro
  • 61'
    SubstitutionFlorent Malouda Marvin Martin
  • 61'
    Yellow Card Mensur Mujdza
  • 61'
    Substiutions galore which has punctuated the attacking flow of the game, though the rough tempo doesn't look like wavering anytime soon. Kevin Gameiro and Marvin Martin replace Florent Malouda and Yohan Cabaye to cheers.
  • 60'
    Mensur Mujdza's foul on Menez was a rash one as he took matters in his own hands so Rahimic could be treated too.
  • 59'
    French fans protest vehemently against the referee. Bosnia are again on the ascendancy with their corssses unsettling the French defence at this point at time. Mujdza fouls Menez on the wing and earnsa yellow card.
  • 58'
    DRAMA! Samir Nasri's progress is checked by Spahic's hand. The assistant referee has signalled an infringement but Craig Thomson continues play. Spahic was on a yellow card too. Definitely a hand-ball.
  • 57'
    REMY! Moments of French pressure as the 24 year old dinks in around the penalty box. His first movement of the ball is poor as Nasri fails to find a team-mate from his pass. But the second attempt is just wide of Begovic's post. Another good chance goes begging.
  • 56'
    Another petty free-kick given away by Adil Rami. The free-kick is long from Misimovic but nicely kept by Edin Dzeko.
  • 55'
    Nervous moments for Bosnia to endure as Evra's pinpoint cross finds Malouda who cannot get much on it. Malouda's intervention put it past the reach of Remy with Begovic static again.
  • 54'
    Yellow Card Emir Spahic
  • 53'
    Former Montpellier defender and Bosnia captain Emir Spahic is booked for a tackle on Menez. Absolutely absurd since there's no contact. Poor decision.
  • 52'
    Free-kick to Bosnia after Malouda tackles down Mujdza.The setpiece is straight into Lloris' hands.
  • 50'
    Kevin Gameiro is warming up on the sidelines. A change perhaps?
  • 48'
    On second viewing, it really should've been touched in by Loic Remy. Begovic was asleep, along with his centre-backs. Almost punished there.
  • 47'
    Dzeko has an early chance to pile further misery on France, but a well worked counter-attack sees France on the offensive. A wicked low ball into the box, and Remy misses the touch that would put it past Begovic. Not an assured start by the Stoke goalkeeper.
  • 46'
    SubstitutionKenan Hasagic Asmir Begovic
  • 46'
    France get us underway in the second half. They MUST score.
  • Substitution by Bosnia, would you believe? Asmir Begovic of Stoke comes on to replace Kenan Hasagic in goal.
  • The teams are out for the second half. A change to tell you about....
  • @lucasmarlowe on Twitter: "Bosnia deserves a two point lead they have so far". Judging on this performance, they sure do! Thanks for your tweet. Keep them coming to @mohammedali_93
  • A reminder - the play-off draw for Euro 2012 will be made in Krakow, Poland on Thursday at 13:00 CET. As always, you can catch it here on France or indeed Bosnia will be in Pot 1, meaning they could face the Republic of Ireland, Turkey, Montenegro or Serbia/Estonia. Not confirmed until full-time however.
  • I'd like to hear from you France fans. Can your side stage the comeback in the second half? Or will Bosnia adopt defensive tactics to hold on to a priceless win? Send me your messages via Twitter to @mohammedali_93.
  • For France, they've got much work to do. Toothless in attack, and uncertain at the back, they've let Bosnia attack them at will. Loic Remy should've scored after a fantastic burst, but the Marseille man will be ruing his extra touch.
  • You can hardly say Bosnia don't deserve this lead. Safet Susic's men have performed from the outset, unsettling the French early on. Though they really should've been ahead through Dzeko, the Man City striker redeems himself with a fantastic.
  • 45' + 1'
    Craig Thomson calls time on the first half. It's France 0-1 Bosnia & Herzegovina. A magnificient opening 45'
  • 45'
    One minute of injury time added on at the end of this fantastic first half.
  • 44'
    The Stade de France is silenced as Mujdza produces a cross which is headed away by Rami. The Valencia defender is having a bit of a nightmare against Edin Dzeko.
  • 43'
    Fantastic piece of dribbling by Samir Nasri as he plots a through-ball. Hasagic is on hand to stifle them.
  • 42'
    An interesting fact. The Republic of Ireland, who lost to France in THAT qualifier in 2009 have qualified for the play-offs. At the moment France would join them, meaning an awkward tie could come around. The Irish are supporting France however, since Bosnia would be seeded above them!
  • 40'
    Goal Edin Dzeko
  • 40'
    Dzeko's 20th goal for Bosnia, and what a time to get it!! As it stands - Bosnia would top Group D ahead of France by two points and qualify for Euro 2012. France MUST score.
  • 39'
    It's an absolute pearler. Make no mistake about that. Quick free-kick taken, and Dzeko turns Rami inside out before unleashing a fantastic curling effort past Lloris from outside the box! 1-0 BOSNIA!!
  • 39'
  • 38'
    Dzeko makes a foray into an attacking position but as he gets past Rami time and again, the ball is played to just outside the box. Great vision, as Medunjanin smacks an effort which is blocked by the unfortunate no.4.
  • 37'
    Boos ringing out from the Stade de France faithful, protesting against their side's slow start to this match. Doesn't look like Laurent Blanc are playing for the draw. Bosnia just have that little bit more dominance about them.
  • 35'
    Les Bleus have steadied the ship after a somewhat frenetic start of the half. As it stands, they qualify for Euro 2012 ahead of Bosnia & Herzegovina. Safet Susic's side must get a goal if they are to book their participation tonight.
  • 33'
    Yellow Card Yohan Cabaye
  • 33'
    Yohan Cabaye is booked for France. Possession stat for you mathematical fans out there. France have 48% of the ball, compared to Bosnia's 52%. In the last 15 minutes, France trump the Dragons 86%-14%
  • 32'
    Yellow Card Sasa Papac
  • 32'
    Sasa Papac yellow carded for a challenge on Jeremy Menez. Free-kick to France, and it is expertly dealt with by Emir Spahic.
  • 31'
    Les Bleus tringing attacks together and utilising their strength on the wings. Compatible to the last attack, Malouda only finds Hasagic again.
  • 30'
    France now attack down the left wing with Evra. A low threatening ball is well saved by Kenan Hasagic. Remember, Les Bleus have not lost in any game since a defeat to Belarus here in September 2010.
  • 28'
    Dzeko again finds Papac, but once again the ball is insufficient. Half-chance it may have been, but how many will come Bosnia's way?
  • 26'
    Lulic also has a pop on Lloris' goal but ultimately fails. We really should've seen a goal in this encounter already. Be it from Dzeko or Remy. Fascinating how it is 0-0.
  • 24'
    DZEKO!!!! How did he miss that?! Glorious ball from the midfield and the No.11 has the goal at his mercy but fires wide! Bit of a tight angle, but really, should've been 1-0.
  • 22'
    Interesting stat - Bosnia have 7 shots as opposed to France's 0. Meanwhile Remy is flagged offside again.
  • 18'
    DZEKO! Chance for Bosnia as the Man City striker goes past Rami but the low shot rarely troubles Lloris. Almost 1-0.
  • 17'
    The tempo of the match has decreased a little, but Bosnia still have the upper hand has Rami goes down under Dzeko's challenge
  • 13'
    Pjanic and Mujdza try to link-up, but the cross is thwarted as Lloris gracefully controls the ball. Gaps in the French defence.
  • 12'
    Another look on that fabulous Remy chance, the Marseille hitman took an extra chance after a great burst through the middle. Really should've been 1-0.
  • 11'
    Quite an enthralling first ten minutes. Bosnia are certainly showing that they can stage an upset with an energetic start in Paris. Do you share the same view? Send me your messages via Twitter to @mohammedali_93
  • 10'
    Free-kick to Bosnia after Cabaye's infringement. Nicely whipped in, but the touch-on by Spahic means that Pandza cannot get a clean hit on goal. End-to-end-stuff.
  • 8'
    REMY!! Fantastic burst of pace by the Marseille striker, but WHERE WAS THE FINISH?! France produce a moment of magic to get them out of their decline, as the defence momentarily switches offff. He gets past everyone, but the ball is run down by Hasagic
  • 7'
    It really is all the visitors in the early stages of this showdown. A definite sense of urgency in the Bosnian's play, and they are looking for that game-changing early goal.
  • 6'
    Still a nervous few moments for France to endure. They are just not able to deal with Bosnia's high pressing game as Misimovic and Pjanic try and combine. France a re unable to move out of their half!
  • 4'
    LULIC! Reveilliere caught in posession, and it was almost fatal. The visitors plough down the wing, and the number 16 steals the ball of the Lyon full back, but the shot is narrowly wide.
  • 3'
    Haris Medunjanin tries a speculative effort from distance. Not anywhere near the goal. Bosnia definitely bossing early proceedings. They need a goal if they are to qualify automatically.
  • 2'
    Another corner for Bosnia, fantastic cross from the right wing, and Reveilliere is forced to clear behind before Lulic gets to the ball. Corner is played short, and Bosnia are dispossessed. Remy flagged offside after a brief counter-attack.
  • 1'
    Man City's Edin Dzeko fires an effort inside 20 seconds and it deflects off a defender for a corner. The Dragons, already on the front foot it seems. The corner is wasted and cleared accordingly.
  • 1'
    Bosnia kick us off in the final match of the 2012 European Championship qualifying campaign.
  • The teams are out, with the anthems sorted. About to kick-off!
  • Tonight's referee is Craig Thomson from Scotland. Not long to go before kick-off, and the atmosphere is immense, a cacophony of noise inside the 80,000 seat Stade de France!
  • Over 2,700 of you have voted on since yesterday, predicting the scores. And a resounding 37% have gone for a 2-1 Bosnian victory - a result, which of course, would send the Eastern Europeans into the tournament. 14% have gone for a narrow French victory as opposed to 56% that support Bosnia. Interesting stats all round.
  • For Bosnia, several changes made by Safet Susic. Kenin Hasagic replaces Stoke's Asmir Begovic in goal, with Boris Pandza brought in to inject defensive steel into the side as hinted by Susic before the game. Miralem Pjanic, Zvejzdan Misimovic and Edin Dzeko will provide the attacking creavitity up front. Emir Spahic, formerly of Montpellier captains the side.
  • There are the teams. What do you make out of that lot? (Tweet me @mohammedali_93). Eric Abidal, Adil Rami, Yohan Cabaye and Patrice Evra have all recovered from their knocks to feature and quell the injury crisis. Jeremy Menez is preferred to Bafetimbi Gomis which allows Loic Remy to spearhead the Les Bleus attack. Anthony Reveilliere replaces Mathieu Debuchy.
  • BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA (4-1-4-1): Hasagic; Papac, Spahic, Mujdza, Lulic; Pandza; Misimovic, Medunjanin, Rahimic; Pjanic; Dzeko.
  • TEAM NEWS: France (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Reveillere, Rami, Abidal, Evra; Cabaye, M'Vila; Menez, Nasri, Malouda; Remy
  • Bosnia's campaign began in uncertain fashion. A straightforward win over minnows Luxembourg, coupled with defeat to France and a draw against Albania left a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, five wins in their last six campaigns catapulted them over Belarus and Romania to leave them on the verge of a maiden appearance in the European Championships
  • Both teams' qualification campaign in a nutshell. France, on the back of a rather embarrassing World Cup campaign in South Africa began their Euro 2012 qualifying Group D pool in equally shocking nature. A 1-0 defeat to Belarus threatened to derail the Blanc era, but a 2-0 win over tonight's opponents in Sarajevo put them back on track. Unbeaten in fourteen games since that minor blip last September, Les Bleus didn't concede in eight, whilst recording convincing wins over England and Brazil. Amassing 20 points out of a possible 27, France are a point away from an eighth appearance in the Euros.
  • Well, the stage is set for an enthralling match. As always folks, this commentary is yours as much as it is mine. Contact me via Twitter to @mohammedali_93 with your comments, predictions, messages, musings and opinions.
  • For Safet Susic's Bosnia, well, they're on the brink of emulating their national sporting achievements. A nation that has only been around since 1992, the Dragons can qualify outright for the finals tournament if - and only if, they pull off a shock win over France in their own backyard. A daunting prospect for any side it seems. They too will be hoping to get the job done early this time round, following the hearbreak of losing in a World Cup play-off to Portugal in 2009.
  • I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be bringing you every bit of action that emanates from the Stade de France. It is the mini-final as Laurent Blanc suggests, a game of such magnitude that defeat can hardly be an option for the French. Though both sides are assured of at least a play-off spot, Les Bleus will be hoping to avoid that route, given the infamous circumstances they encountered whilst qualifying for the World Cup two years ago against the Republic of Ireland.
  • Good evening, and welcome to's LIVE text commentary. It's the big one, make no mistake about it. Two time European champions France face Bosnia & Herzegovina in Paris, with the winner securing automatic qualification to the 2012 European Championships. It's tense.