World Cup pre-game: Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran

Iran wasn't considered a nation that could contend at the World Cup, but a victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina Wednesday (Sportsnet,, 11:30 a.m. ET), plus help from Argentina would advance the nation to the Round of 16.

Bosnia eliminated but focused

Goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi was spectacular in Iran’s loss to Argentina. (Sergio Moraes/Reuters)

Group F: Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran

  • 12 p.m. ET, Wednesday June 25
  • Sportsnet, streaming online at

What’s at stake

Iran has to win this game and hope that Nigeria loses against Argentina if it is to go through. But in that scenario the Iranians would have to win on goals. So they need to find the net against Bosnia.

Bosnia has impressed a lot of people at its maiden World Cup. And it rightly feels aggrieved for having a goal called back against Nigeria. So Bosnia will play this came out for pride and future experience.

Impact players

Bosnia: Edin Dzeko. Its star player wants to lift his team to its first World Cup win before the team goes home.

Iran: Alireza Haghighi. Iran’s goalkeeper kept his team in the game against Argentina until the very end. And he blanked Nigeria.

What to watch for

This match is a quest for goals by both teams.

Iran will come out flying as it still has a chance of going through. Bosnia wants to capitalize on its strong play in the first two previous matches.

They said it

“He changed the game. That’s why we lost. It was obviously a foul on our captain and before, when I scored the goal, it was never off-side.” — Bosnia forward Edin ​Dzeko venting his frustrations to reporters.

"It should have been a penalty and red card. There's no excuse. There's nothing that can explain why this Serbian referee did not give the penalty," — Carlos Queiroz, Iran’s manager,  complaining about a non-call in the match against Argentina.

The big number

5 — History is on Iran’s side, as it is unbeaten in five previous head-to-head matches against Bosnia & Herzegovina. The most recent was a 3-2 win in a 2009 friendly.

Obligatory fun fact

Iran was the first national team to play Bosnia-Herzegovina — a friendly in 1993. The Bosnians won 3-1, but this was not registered as an official match as the Bosnian Football Federation was not yet a member of FIFA.


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