Bosnia-Herzegovina (0-1-0) vs. Nigeria (0-0-1), 6 p.m. (ET)


The Sports Network

Cuiaba, Brazil ( - Bosnia-Herzegovina and Nigeria will both be searching for three big points on Saturday at the Arena Pantanal as both try to position themselves for a run at the next round.

Bosnia fell 2-1 to Argentina in its first-ever World Cup match, while Nigeria was left frustrated by a 0-0 draw against Iran.

The match really couldn't have started worse for Bosnia as the team went behind in the opening three minutes to an own goal from Sead Kolasinac.

However, things settled down after that goal, and Bosnia was able to disrupt Argentina's attack until Lionel Messi scored a wonderful goal in the 65th minute to double the advantage.

The Bosnian's were able to cut the deficit in half in the last 10 minutes through a goal from Vedad Ibisevic, but an equalizer wasn't in the cards.

Despite the loss, Bosnia boss Safet Susic was proud of his side, and will head into the Nigeria contest in a confident mood.

"We wanted to give the favorites a fight and I'm satisfied with what we did," Susic said following the defeat to Argentina.

The Super Eagles enter this match with a point, unlike Bosnia, but they will be the more disappointed of the two sides ahead of the contest after failing to take maximum points from Iran.

Nigeria was left frustrated by Iran's approach, which was very defensive and centered on getting players behind the ball.

For Nigeria, the match represented a good opportunity to take three points ahead of games against two more difficult opponents, and midfielder John Obi Mikel reflected that in his comments after the match.

"We are very disappointed because the opening match is very important," said Mikel. "We looked for the win, but Iran knew what we wanted to do and put 11 men behind the ball. They managed to stop us from playing our game. We'll have to create more chances in our next match and be sharp in front of goal."

The pressure is now on Nigeria to take maximum points because the African side faces Argentina in its final group-stage contest, while Bosnia has the much more manageable task of meeting Iran.

One of the big questions facing Bosnia before the World Cup was how well the team would play defensively, but those questions were answered to an extent by the performance against Argentina.

With Bosnia having Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic and Ibisevic in attack, Nigeria's defense will get a much sterner examination than it got from Iran.

The schedule will only get tougher for the African champions, so three points is of vital importance.

Read more Soccer stories from the Miami Herald

FILE - This is a Sunday Dec. 29, 2013 file photo of  Southampton's Calum Chambers as he fights for the ball against Everton's James McCarthy,during their English Premier League soccer match at Goodison Park Stadium, Liverpool, England. English Premier League team Arsenal has signed defender Calum Chambers from Southampton for an undisclosed fee . The 19-year-old Chambers has penned a “long-term” contract at Arsenal, according to the North London club on Monday July 28, 2014.

    Arsenal signs Calum Chambers from Southampton

    Southampton lost another key player Monday when Arsenal completed the signing of 19-year-old defender Calum Chambers as part of the Gunners' preparations for a renewed assault on the Premier League title.

AS Roma manager Rudi Garcia, left, holds up a jersey with Denver Broncos head coach John Fox, center, as AS Roma player Francesco Totti, right foreground, joins teammates during photo session at the Broncos NFL football training camp in Englewood, Colo.,  on Friday, July 25, 2014. AS Roma team members were on hand to watch the Broncos in their second day of practice in preparation for the 2014 NFL season. AS Roma faces Manchester United in a game on Saturday in the Mile High City.

    Juventus to visit Chievo in Serie A opening round

    Serie A champion Juventus will kick off its bid for a fourth straight title at Chievo Verona, while last season's runner-up Roma hosts Fiorentina on the opening day.

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. A Spanish judge on Monday July 28, 2014 has rejected a prosecutor's request to drop charges of tax fraud against Messi and ordered the investigation into three cases of suspected unpaid taxes to proceed. A court statement says there is "sufficient evidence" to believe the Argentina player "could have known and consented" to the creation of a fictitious corporate structure to avoid paying taxes on income made from Messi's image rights. Messi's father, Jorge Horacio Messi, is under investigation for an alleged euro4 million ($5.3 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09.

    Tax fraud case against Lionel Messi goes ahead

    A Spanish judge on Monday rejected a prosecutor's request to drop charges of tax fraud against Lionel Messi and ordered the investigation into three cases of suspected unpaid taxes to proceed.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category