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Bosnia tops Iran to exit on high note

Jul 10, 2014 - 1:21 AM Salvador, Brazil ( - Bosnia-Herzegovina exited its inaugural World Cup on a high note on Wednesday, notching a 3-1 win over Iran at the Arena Fonte Nova.

Bosnia was a bit unlucky to lose a pair of one-goal games to start the tournament, but the team goes home with its first World Cup win after Miralem Pjanic scored a goal and assisted on another, while Edin Dzeko and Avdija Vrsajevic also found the net for the Bosnians.

"We dominated the game and deserved to win," said Bosnia head coach Safet Susic. "Although I know that Iran wanted to progress, the victory was important for us. We can now go home with our heads held high. We wanted to leave a good impression, but we're not satisfied because we think that we could have done more. I'm not being arrogant when I say that, but if we'd played a bit better against Nigeria and had a bit more luck, I think we would have made the round of 16."

Iran entered the contest with a chance to advance, but the team needed to beat Bosnia and have Argentina top Nigeria in the other Group F match.

And while Argentina did its part, Iran fell behind 2-0 in the first hour of the game before scoring its only goal of the tournament in the 82nd minute through Reza Ghoochannejhad.

Dzeko nearly scored inside of four minutes when he fired a shot on goal from eight yards that goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi did well to tip over the crossbar.

But the Manchester City striker got off the mark 20 minutes later when he dribbled to the top of the penalty area and drove a low shot off the right post and into the net.

Iran almost answered immediately as Masoud Shojaei struck the crossbar, but Bosnia doubled its lead in the 59th minute.

A giveaway in Iran's defensive third allowed Tino Susic to play Pjanic into the area, where he smashed a first-time shot past Haghighi.

Ghoochannejhad gave his team a bit of a lift when he turned home a cross from Javad Nekounam eight minutes from time, only for Bosnia to answer back one minute later through Vrsajevic, who drove a low shot inside the far post from a tight angle to seal the win.

The result leaves Iran on the bottom of Group F, while Bosnia finishes in third place, one point back of second-place Nigeria.

"I have to congratulate Bosnia and Herzegovina, they deserved to win today and, without disrespect to Argentina or Nigeria, I believe that they should have qualified from this group," Iran head coach Carlos Queiroz said. "They have great players who play for great clubs - and I do believe that they are the best team of the group."