SALVADOR – Gp F: Bosnia-Herzegovina 3, Iran 1
—- Iran’s hopes of qualifying for the World Cup last 16 ended in defeat by already-doomed Bosnia-Hercegovina.
Carlos Queiroz’s side could have progressed to the second round with a win but their hopes were dented when Edin Dzeko gave the Bosnians a deserved early lead from 25 yards. Roma’s Miralem Pjanic slid home a second after the break.
Reza Ghoochannejad pulled one back but Avdija Vrsajevic sealed it to give Bosnia their first World Cup win.
Safet Susic’s side had been knocked out before Wednesday’s match after narrow defeats by Argentina and Nigeria in their opening two games, but had created enough chances to have taken something from both games.
Dzeko’s goal against the Iranians was scant consolation for the Manchester City forward after he had an effort ruled out incorrectly against Nigeria at 0-0.
His 23rd-minute strike was deserved after a positive Bosnian start in which the City man had twice forced saves from Iran’s Alireza Haghighi.
Foiled by the bar
With the Iranians needing to win and hope Nigeria lost if they were to progress, they went on the attack immediately and Masoud Shojaei saw his shot come back off the crossbar less than a minute after Bosnia had scored. It would have been their first goal in a World Cup finals since a 1-1 draw with Angola in 2006.
Bosnia made it 2-0 with just under an hour gone when Iran conceded possession needlessly 40 yards from goal and Tino Susic moved forward before sliding through to the marginally offside Pjanic.
Iran – under the management of former Manchester United coach Queiroz for the final time – hit back when Reza Ghoochannejhad tapped home at the back post after Bosnia failed to clear a corner.
Almost from the restart, however, Sejad Salihovic played in fullback Vrsajevic to score his first international goal.
Iran have now gone out at the group stage in all four of their World Cup campaigns.