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Matchday 14: Messi, Argentina in round of 16

Five Aside Jun 25, 2014
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Bosnia, before Dzeko

Blog - Wright Thompson Jun 21, 2014
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Bosnia's prediction: Last 16

Bosnia Jun 9, 2014
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 By Nick Ames
Oct 13, 2014

Bosnia-Herzegovina earn draw against Belgians, but squad depth a concern

Israel and Wales currently lead the way in Group B of Euro 2016 qualifying, but ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Shaka Hislop weigh in on Belgium's chances to turn things around.

ZENICA, Bosnia and Herzegovina -- The mood inside Bilino Polje had been quite different 367 days previously. When a ball flashed past Asmir Begovic then, it was sent by Liechtenstein's Nicolas Hasler, with Bosnia and Herzegovina already four goals up and the same number of days away from a World Cup qualification that by this stage seemed driven by providence.

Bosnia-HerzegovinaBosnia-Herzegovina
BelgiumBelgium
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FT
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That night, no concession could abate the din, the chants, the anthems. On Monday evening, the opposite was true. While things had been...

 By Kevin Palmer
Oct 9, 2014

Previewing this week's best Euro 2016 qualifying matches

Spain international Pedro spoke ahead of the country's Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovakia on their opponents, FC Barcelona and his teammate Cesc Fabregas.

Cynics of UEFA's decision to bolster their European Championship finals entry list to 24 teams will be offered more than a little ammunition to back up their theory that the expanded competition has diluted the pre-event qualifying campaign this week.

England's Wembley meeting with San Marino (FIFA ranking 208) at Wembley on Thursday, Holland's clash with Kazakhstan (127) a day later and the Republic of Ireland's meeting with Gibraltar (unranked by FIFA) are some of the fixtures on the horizon that...

 By Sasa Ibrulj
Sep 8, 2014

Edin Dzeko says Bosnia 'want more' now that qualifying hex has ended

Edin Dzeko scored his first World Cup goal for Bosnia in their finale Wednesday.
Edin Dzeko says Bosnia and Herzegovina 'want more' after qualifying for the World Cup, their first major tournament.

Year after year since they gained independence from Yugoslavia and began competing with the rest of their fellow Europeans, the Bosnians had their autumn routine. Every two years, with the start of the new qualifying campaign for the next major tournament, their football team -- as well as the media, fans and basically everyone -- repeated the same words and turned them in sacred litany.

Now or never. It was always now or never. Hope bursting like a bubble and crying over their failures were...

 By John Cross
Jun 26, 2014

Assessment: Bosnia's first World Cup

Bosnia will leave their first World Cup at the group stages, and ESPN FC's Sasa Ibrulj looks back at their campaign.

One sentence, World Cup recap

A fairy tale that ended too early and left the country in a mixture of disappointment and pride.

All team assessments

Group Stage: Australia | Bosnia-Herzegovina | Cameroon | Croatia | Ecuador | England | Ghana | Honduras | Italy | Iran
Ivory Coast Japan | Portugal | Russia | South Korea | Spain
Round of 16: Algeria | Chile | Greece | Mexico
Nigeria | Switzerland | Uruguay | United States
Quarterfinals: Colombia | France | Belgium | Costa Rica
Semifinals: Brazil | Netherlands
Finalists: Argentina
Winners: Germany

Star Man

Through the last couple of years, Bosnia-Herzegovina have relied on the spine of the team that was built from captain Emir Spahic, midfielder Miralem Pjanic and the star man up front Edin Dzeko -- but only one of them delivered in this tournament...

Jun 25, 2014

Argentina, Messi win Group F

Argentina's Lionel Messi swerved in a stunning free kick in his team's 3-2 win over Nigeria.

France wins group E with a 0-0 draw against Ecuador and Switzerland advances from the group for the first time since 2006. Group F winner Argentina is joined by Nigeria in the round of 16, who advance despite losing to the Albiceleste Wednesday.

Argentina is the fifth CONMEBOL team to advance, matching 2010 as the most ever in the round of 16 for the South American federation.

Here are five notes to know coming out of Matchday 14:

Argentina advances past the group stage for the eighth time in...

 By John Duerden
Jun 25, 2014

Three Points: Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran

2014 FIFA World Cup Group F: Bosnia-Herzegovina 3-1 Iran

Three observations from Bosnia-Herzegovina's 3-1 win over Iran in Group F's final game at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil.

1. First World Cup win feels flat for Bosnia

When the draw was made, Bosnia-Herzegovina had dreams of defeating Iran in the final game to book a place in the second round. The first part came true, but the second did not.

There were no scenes of wild celebration as the final whistle sounded in Salvador. It was all a little flat and wasn't supposed to end like this.

This...