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Euro 2016: Four big questions

Euro 2016

Matchday 14: Messi, Argentina in round of 16

Five Aside

Bosnia, before Dzeko

Blog - Wright Thompson

Jon Walters inspires Ireland in win over Bosnia-Herzegovina to reach Euros

ESPN FC's Stewart Robson discusses Ireland's qualification into Euro 2016 following a 3-1 aggregate win over Bosnia.
A brace from Jon Walters earned Ireland a spot at Euro 2016 following a 3-1 aggregate win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Jon Walters reacts to Ireland's qualification into Euro 2016 following his two goals against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

DUBLIN -- Three thoughts from Republic of Ireland's 2-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Aviva Stadium in European Championship qualifying playoffs, which sent the hosts to Euro 2016 in France next summer.

1. Ireland reach Euro 2016

Ireland reach the heady heights of Euro 2016, and precisely because they brilliantly kept their focus. Bosnia-Herzegovina lost theirs on the way to losing this game 2-0 and the tie 3-1 on aggregate.

Even long before the excellent Jon Walters had plundered his...

 By Sasa Ibrulj

Bosnia-Herzegovina getting punished for poor midfield play

Mehmed Bazdarevic may have been right when he said that it was too foggy to watch the most of the first playoff match between his Bosnia-Herzegovina side and the Republic of Ireland, but it was visible enough to see how big of an opportunity Bosnia wasted on Friday night in Zenica. The 1-1 draw at the Bilino Polje Stadium is a result that gives a big advantage to Martin O'Neill and his boys.

A combative yet limited Ireland team lacking individual quality did not offer much more than solid defending...

Ireland take upper hand despite Bosnia and Herzegovina domination

ZENICA, Bosnia and Herzegovina -- Three thoughts on Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina's 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Euro 2016 playoff on Friday.

1. Bosnia promise much, but produce very little

You would say it was an opportunity wasted for Bosnia and Herzegovina, given their superiority and advantages in this match, except they didn't exactly create all that many chances.

That is the crux of their performance, and the big question is whether they could have done more.

Bosnia and Herzegovina...

O'Neill must patch together Ireland in the face of Bosnian star power

After so much talk about the benefit to Bosnia and Herzegovina of playing in a fervent and "special" Bilino Polje Stadium in Zenica, and so many questions about the amount of players that Ireland are missing for the Euro 2016 playoff between the two teams, Edin Dzeko tried to be diplomatic.

"It doesn't matter," the striker said. "I think it's 50-50."

For all the genuine respect that Dzeko was giving the Irish, though, far more revealing was his response to the next question. The striker was asked...

Euro 2016: Four big questions ahead of the final qualifying playoffs

ESPN FC's Janusz Michallik breaks down the matchups for the Euro 2016 playoffs, including favourites and possible upsets.

The international break is upon us again. Miguel Delaney has four big questions as eight nations play off for the final four Euro 2016 spots.

1. Will Euro 2016 be denied Zlatan Ibrahimovic, or will Zlatan deny Morten Olsen the perfect goodbye?

The star against the stalwart manager. At 34 years of age, Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic wants one more big tournament -- and arguably needs one for his legacy, having not qualified for 2014. At 15 years in the job and set to retire when this campaign ends,...

 By Sasa Ibrulj

Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia experience highs and lows in Euro 2016 qualifying

After an hour of their match at National Stadium in Ta' Qali, the Croatians were in a panic. They were struggling against Malta despite being in control, playing in second gear after Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic put them ahead after 25 minutes. Instead, it was a scoreboard 600 miles away in Rome that counted. At that point, Norway was leading Italy at the Stadio Olimpico, via Alexander Tettey, and holding second place in the Group H table.

Just six months ago, things looked perfect for Croatia....