Croatia are too strong for
By a Special Correspondent in Bologna
CROATIA swept to a convincing 4-1 victory over
Bosnia-Herzegovina in an historic World Cup qualifier
between the former Yugoslav republics in Bologna last
Playing football together for the first since the end of the
war, Bosnia and Croatia supplied a hard-tackling
A small but highly vocal group of about 150 Croatian
supporters, 15 of them stripped to the waist despite the
driving rain of a cold autumn night, banged drums and
chanted for the full 90 minutes.
Bosnian supporters were content to wave flags as their
side had one moment of glory in a match they never
looked like winning.
The Group One tie had barely started when Goran
Vlaovic cut through the Bosnian defence on the right
and prodded the ball to Davor Suker, but the Real Madrid
striker failed to get any power behind his shot.
AC Milan's Zvonimir Boban hit the Bosnian crossbar from
a 20-yard free-kick as Croatia dominated a frantic start
to the match.
Slaven Bilic, the West Ham defender, opened the
scoring after 14 minutes, stretching to stab home
Boban's cross from the left after the midfielder had
worked his way behind the Bosnian defence.
Bosnia levelled after 25 minutes with their first
international goal at senior level. Nermin Sabic crossed
and Hasan Salihamidzic drove in from close range.
Croatia moved up a gear and regained the lead 10
minutes later, Vlaovic converting from the edge of the
Alen Boksic, who plays for Juventus, added Croatia's
third in the 63rd minute, and rounded off the scoring six
minutes from the end.