PLAYER RATINGS: Argentina 2-0 Bosnia-Herzegovina
Our national team lost 0-2 to 3rd ranked Argentina in St. Louis, Missouri. It wasn’t the best of our national team’s performances as Bosnia looks to draw lessons from this friendly to travel to Brazil next year fully prepared. The greatest victory of the game was seeing 20 year old youngster Sead Kolasinac finally put on the national team jersey, and he did so in style as he was arguably the best player from the Bosnian side.
Asmir Begovic – 9 - Bosnia’s best player alongside Sead Kolasinac. Bosnia could have easily conceded many more goals without English Premier League’s star goalkeeper between the posts. Made save after save and read the game ever so well. The commentators for beIN Sport even granted him the nickname “The Great Pink Octopus” at some point in the match, referring to his pink jersey and astonishing shot-stopping abilities. Conceded two goals for which he could do nothing about.
Avdija Vrsajevic – 4 - It would be fair to demand some answers from Susic for opting with Vrsajevic against a team like Argentina. Showed tonight that he is simply not the starter we are looking for against big sides coming into the World Cup next year. Nervous and shaky display from the Hajduk Split winger as most of his crosses from the right wing went wayward. Often times gave our defenders much more work to do covering the right side as he left huge gaps there for Argentina to take advantage of. Argentina punished his side for 70 minutes straight before Susic subbed him out in the 70th minute. The lack of Mensur Mujdza showed greatly. The pace and effort was there but that was about it.
Ermin Bicackic – 7 - The hero in our tide-turning win over Slovakia months ago put on a solid performance. He demonstrated a lack of pace in some parts of the match but nothing that made him stand out from the rest of his teammates. Decent overall and fared well against one of the world’s best strikeforces. Had to cover for Vrsajevic in numerous occasions. Could have done better marking Aguero on the second goal.
Emir Spahic – 7.5 – The captain produced an above average performance against the deceptively quick Argentine offense. Not only was responsible for covering for some of Vrsajevic’s defensive mistakes but also had to deal with an excellent, yet dirty Aguero. Spahic commanded the backline well most of the game and intercepted a fantastic low cross from Di Maria with Aguero waiting at the back post. His only downfall was a botched attempt at picking Di Maria clean which led to Argentina’s first goal.
Sead Kolasinac – 9 - Dream debut – The fearless brute of Schalke had three obstacles facing him against Argentina: 1) He is young, only 20 years old. 2) He is a defender. 3) He is facing against one of the strongest attacks in the world from one of football’s powerhouses. These three obstacles are a formula for debut disaster. Sead however bulldozed past these obstacles in valiant effort and justified all the hype surrounding his talent. The 20 year old, nicknamed “Rusilac” by Bosnian fans out of love for the player, was the best player on the pitch alongside our goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Constantly harassed and bullied opposing players, body-checked them on numerous occasions, won balls, and completely closed off the left side of the field. On some occasions looked overly aggressive, but to good effect as the Argentina players were often times left intimidated. In the second half Argentina noticed his defensive abilities and opted to attack on our right side instead where Vrsajevic was stationed. ‘Seo’, a nickname given to him by Schalke fans for which he and Bosnian fans have embraced over the years, showed no nerves against Argentina. He displayed the ice cold demeanor, calm and collected attitude, and football IQ present only in national team veterans. His heavyset frame did not slow him down at all as he constantly buzzed around the field and recorded more sprints than any other player from the Bosnian side. His technical ability is surprisingly great for his age and physique, a product of German school football. Seo is still a kid at only 20 years of age – he has at least 15 years left to play for the national team. Congratulations to Seo for his first game for the national team – it was a true warrior’s performance.
Haris Medunjanin – 8 - The offensive minded defensive mid, who doesn’t own a pair of pants, played a great game tonight despite not able to spend much time in more advanced positions (where he best shows his creative capabilities) due to our defensive struggles. Medo tracked back well tonight to assist the defense as much as he could with his limited defensive abilities. When he did receive the few chances to move forward, he showed his true self – provided neat and crisp passes, slick long balls, and a shot that missed the target. Picked out our forwards on a couple occasions to see them blunder the opportunities.
Edin Visca – 7.5 – The speedy winger was a constant threat to the Argentine defense with his tireless runs and non-stop effort on the flanks. On several occasions caught the Argentine offense sleeping and picked them clean from behind as he retreated to defense. Overall a decent game for a man who plays in the 2nd Turkish league and isn’t used to the level of football Argentina brought tonight. Could easily play in one of the strongest leagues.
Miralem Pjanic – 5.5 – Argentina seemed to have done their homework on our team and came out with the formula to neutralize Pjanic. He was nearly invisible and had zero space to work with. He did not receive any help from the wings and from his partner in crime in the middle, Zvjezdan Misimovic. Pjanic was constantly surrounded and did not have the opportunities and space he often has for AS Roma or when our national team plays weaker opponents. The effort however was there in some parts of the match.
Zvjezdan Misimovic – 5 - Invisible for some parts of the match. Did not provide enough effort. Constantly dispossessed and often slowed down Bosnia’s attack. He has done much for the national team and will go down as one of the best players in our nation’s history, providing more assists than any other player, but he will have to step it up a couple notches playing against bigger sides if he looks to do the national team good coming into the World Cup.
Vedad Ibisevic – 5 - For the most part a misguided match for the St. Louis hero, but still the better of Bosnia’s strike duo. The effort and pressure of the opposition’s defense was there but he misfired on numerous occasions, including an easy chance from inside the box where he completely missed the target. Had the desire to be the hero of the night in front of his ‘home’ crowd but often times his attempts would end up in the stands, wide off the goal, or blocked easily. Probably should have passed on a couple occasions instead of taken the chance on goal.
Edin Dzeko – 4.5 - Little effort from Bosnia’s all-time top goalscorer. Very lackluster display and far from his best. Recorded two shots, one of them Bosnia’s main shot on goal. One other missed chance from a tough angle was excusable. Was largely invisible in the second half. His first touch seems to have departed him as he had issues holding up the ball. The lack of playing time for Manchester City is clearly showing. Did not receive much support from the midfield though.
Izet Hajrovic – 7 - Made his 20 minutes of time on the pitch count. Delivered a couple nice deliveries and runs that he is used to doing for Grasshoppers Zurich. Hajrovic is a long range threat that did not get much burn tonight but for the little opportunity he received he put it to good use. He put in the effort that was generally lacking from our team. Started and finished decently.
Zoran Kvrzic – 5.5 - Came on for Misimovic and produced an average substitute’s display. Nothing special but nothing bad of note either.
Toni Sunjic – 4.5 - Came on for Vrsajevic in the 74th minute and was immediately left in the dust on the wing. Beaten on numerous occasions. Did make one admirable tackle when he decked Mascherano in the 90th minute.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Sead Kolasinac & Asmir Begovic