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Victory gives Nigeria hope

Monday, June 23, 2014

CUIABA, Brazil - Bosnia-Herzegovina's maiden appearance at a World Cup finals has ended in disappointment as Peter Odemwingie's goal condemned them to a 1-0 defeat by Nigeria in Cuiaba and ensured they can't qualify for the second round.

Nigeria's win, their first at a World Cup finals since 1998, leaves them as favourites to join Argentina in the second round.

Nigeria were a completely different team to the one that had barely got out of a Sunday morning stroll in the 0-0 draw with Iran.

Emmanuel Emineke always looked a threat and it was he who created the goal, as he burst down the right and engaged in a race for the ball with veteran Bosnian skipper Emir Spahic, who tried vainly to obstruct the Nigerian.

However, the central defender had completely misjudged the situation as Emineke went the opposite side and outpaced him to collect the ball before unselfishly squaring it to Odemwingie, with the Stoke City striker putting the ball in the back of the net.

Bosnia had little to offer, though they could claim that they had been robbed of a goal as Edin Dzeko put the ball past Vincent Enyeama, but it was wrongly ruled out for offside.

Dzeko, though, could have stolen a point at the death when he rose to meet a corner but his downward header was straight at Enyeama, who gratefully smothered it.

The Manchester City striker went even closer in time added on as his shot from inside the area beat Enyeama but cannoned back off the post.

The referee whistled for fulltime shortly after that with the Bosnians collapsing to the ground in despair.

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