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Pjanic double gives Bosnia & Herzegovina huge win over Finland

Bosnia Finland Euro 2020 Soccer

Bosnia’s Miralem Pjanic, left, duels for the ball with Finland’s Jasse Tuominen during the Euro 2020 group J qualifying soccer match between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Finland at the Bilino polje stadium in Zenica, Bosnia, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kemal Softic)


Miralem Pjanic struck twice as Bosnia & Herzegovina secured a critical 4-1 win over Finland at home in Euro 2020 qualification.

Bosnia & Herzegovina came into the match fourth in Group J against second-placed Finland, and the victory pulled them into third within two points of an automatic qualification position.

Dinamo Zagreb winger Izet Hajrovic was first on the scoresheet just before the half-hour mark as Zoran Kvrzic delivered an outstanding feed while standing still on the right flank and Hajrovic finished into the roof of the net.

Pjanic doubled the lead before the break from the spot and bagged his brace on 57 minutes. His second came on a beautiful finish after Finland failed to clear and the ball continued to ping around the penalty area, with Pjanic eventually latching on at the top of the box, chesting it down and finding the top-left corner with a fabulous volley.

Former Liverpool youth product Armin Hodzic made it 4-0 in the 73rd minute on yet another scrum in the box with Lukas Hradecky saving multiple efforts before Hodzic came charging and rifled the ball into the gaping net. Finland grabbed a consolation in the 79th minute via Joel Pohjanpalo but it did little to ease the sting as they lost a stranglehold on the 2nd position in the group standings behind Italy.

Overall Bosnia completed a dominating performance, popping off 23 total shots to Finland’s five, including an 8-2 advantage on target. Armenia can still pass Bosnia and retake third place with a road win over Lichtenstein, but the victory muddies the water greatly in Group J with a number of countries still in position to grab the second automatic qualifying position with three matchdays still to go.

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