Bosnia-Herzegovina qualifies for first World Cup

The European nation had never reached a major international tournament before, but has booked its ticket to Brazil with a 1-0 win against Lithuania, while Russia also qualified.

Bosnia-Herzegovina has qualified for the first World Cup in its history after a 1-0 win away to Lithuania on Tuesday.

Safet Susic’s team finished level on 25 points with Greece at the summit of Group G, but its superior goal difference earned the top spot and an automatic place in Brazil next summer, its first berth in a major international tournament.

Vedad Ibisevic, who played collegiately at St. Louis University, struck the all-important goal with just more than 20 minutes to go, rendering Greece’s concurrent 2-0 triumph against Liechtenstein a result of no consequence.

Bosnia has suffered a series of near misses during recent years in its bid to qualify for an international competition, most notably losing to Portugal in the playoffs for both Euro 2012 and the 2010 World Cup.

Russia also qualified for Brazil 2014, narrowly beating Portugal by one point to first place in Group F by wrapping up the top spot despite a 1-1 draw at Azerbaijan.

Roman Shirokov’s first-half goal was cancelled out by Javadov’s injury-time equalizer, but Azerbaijan had no time left to push for a winner, meaning that Portugal’s 3-0 win over Luxembourg was not enough for Paolo Bento’s men to escape the playoffs for the third international tournament in a row.