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Nov, 8, 2011

Begovic: We have nothing to lose

Bosnia-Herzegovina goalkeeper Asmir Begovic concedes that his side are huge underdogs against Portugal, but that they have nothing to lose as they attempt to seal their place at Euro 2012.

Begovic, 24, has won seven caps for his country and was only 12 minutes away from qualifying for his first major finals when a penalty from France's Samir Nasri in their final group game saw them draw 1-1; a result which meant the French progressed as group winners.

Now, Bosnia-Herzegovina face Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal for a spot in at the tournament in Poland and Ukraine and, having lost 2-0 on aggregate at the same stage in World Cup qualification last year, Begovic knows how hard it will be.

"We've probably got the toughest task," he told BBC Radio Stoke. ''It's going to be a fantastic experience playing against those quality players and we're going to give it a go. We have nothing to lose.

"The whole country is behind us so we'll go in there fighting and hopefully we can win that test. The France game was a big disappointment and it left a lot of us devastated because we were so close. We're going to have to work very hard to get the same kind of opportunity."

Bosnia-Herzegovina lie in 21st place in the FIFA world rankings - their highest place since being admitted in 1996 and Begovic said it would mean a lot to the side once seen as minnows.

"It would mean everything for the country [to qualify for Euro 2012] because it's such a small country and it would be a humongous achievement," he added. ''We have some good players and I think we can do something, but obviously we'll need a good amount of luck and great performances all round to have a chance of going through."

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