International Friendly: Bosnia- Herzegovina 2 Ivory Coast 1

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Edin Dzeko bagged a brace as Bosnia-
Herzegovina accounted for Ivory Coast 2-1 in
their international friendly in St Louis on Friday.
Dzeko scored either side of the half-time break
to inspire Bosnia to victory against fellow FIFA
World Cup participants Ivory Coast at Edward
Jones Dome.
The Manchester City striker broke the deadlock
just past the quarter-hour mark before making
sure of the win eight minutes into the second-
half.
Ivory Coast substitute Didier Drogba scored a
stunning free-kick during the closing stages,
though it was only a mere consolation.
It was a confidence-boosting win for Bosnia,
who are set to face Argentina, Nigeria and Iran in
Group F in their first-ever World Cup
appearance.
Safet Susic’s men had lost their last two
competitive games prior to Friday’s fixture but
they now head into Tuesday’s friendly against
Mexico full of confidence.
As for Ivory Coast, it is back to the drawing
board and quickly after three games without a
win, with the African nation up against Colombia,
Greece and Japan in Group C in Brazil.
A very open start at the home of NFL franchise
the St Louis Rams saw Bosnia-Herzegovina with
the better of the play before Dzeko’s opening
goal in the 17th minute.
Miscommunication in the Ivory Coast defence led
to the ball falling to the Manchester City striker
at the edge of the area.
With goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo having been
drawn out by an attempted chest back, Dzeko
was on hand to curl an effort into an open net
for his 34th international goal.
Ivory Coast started to settle into the encounter
midway through the first half, albeit without
overly troubling Asmir Begovic’s goal.
It was mostly from set-pieces that Ivory Coast,
without Manchester City star Yaya Toure and his
brother Kolo, looked threatening.
Bosnia continued where they left off after the
break, doubling their advantage in the 53rd
minute.
Miralem Pjanic delivered the ball to Dzeko on
the edge of the box and the towering front man
turned his defender before finding the back of the
net with a half-volley to move 10 goals clear of
team-mate Zvjezdan Misimovic in the scoring
charts, though Gbohouo could have done better.
Ivory Coast almost found a way back into the
contest on the hour-mark, however their effort
was cleared off the line by veteran defender Emir
Spahic.
The introduction of Drogba sparked Ivory Coast
into action.
But as they attempted to reduce the deficit, it left
them exposed in defence during the final half-
hour.
Second-half substitute Vedad Ibisevic, who
replaced man-of-the-match Dzeko, was at the
centre of some decent chances for Bosnia.
But the Stuttgart striker could not get on the end
of several delightful crosses into the penalty
area.
Bosnia were by far the better team throughout
but they were breached in the first minute of
injury-time.
Drogba was fouled outside the box and the
striker, who is a free agent after leaving
Galatasaray, alerted potential suitors with a
thunderous free-kick – his sixth goal in eight
games for the national team.
Bosnia are back in action against Mexico in
Chicago on Wednesday before flying out to Brazil
for their opening World Cup match against
Argentina on June 15.
Meanwhile, Ivory Coast are set to face El
Salvador on the same day.
Ivory Coast go head-to-head with Japan in the
opening game of their World Cup campaign on
June 14.

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