XT Post Number King
Teams: INTER & Tottenham Hotspur
Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Bosnia 0-2 Yugoslavia: Early goals
SARAJEVO, Aug 21 (Reuters) - First-half goals from defender Mladen Krstajic and Striker Darko Kovacevic earned Yugoslavia a 2-0 win away to Bosnia in a friendly international played under heavy security on Wednesday.
Hundreds of police were deployed in and around the Kosevo Olympic Stadium as organisers had feared ethnic crowd trouble mainly from Bosnian Serbs supporting the Yugoslav team.
But Yugoslavia's fans showed up in small numbers and were sealed off and no incidents were reported with them.
Home fans, however, threw stones and bottles at police outside the stadium after the match but were quickly dispersed.
Yugoslavia went ahead when Krstajic headed in a Mihajlovic free kick in the 34th minute. Kovacevic doubled the score in the 42nd after a defensive blunder left him alone with the ball eight metres from the goal and he blasted it home.
The Yugoslavs, missing several familiar names such as Predrag Mijatovic or Slavisa Jokanovic, dominated from the outset but Kovacevic, Dejan Stankovic and Bosnia-born Savo Milosevic missed several clear chances.
Bosnian coach Blaz Sliskovic also omitted several foreign-based names, like Rayo Vallecano's Elvir Bolic and Galatasaray's Elvir Baljic, to try new players and paid a dear price for it.
Apart from Bayern Munich's utility player Hasan Salihamidzic, who the crowd finally rewarded with applause instead of boos for a tireless display, no other Bosnian player left his mark on the match.
The Bosnians had an appeal for a penalty turned down in the eighth minute when Sinisa Mihajlovic pulled lone forward Samir Muratovic's jersey to stop his burst into the box and that was as close as they came to scoring in the first half.
There were 19 substitutions in the second half which resulted in a drop in the pace.
The Yugoslavs' disciplined performance ensured they kept their lead despite Bosnia's late attempts to score at least a consolation goal in front of a disappointingly low home crowd of 13,000 in the 36,000-seat stadium.
'I expected a stronger Bosnian side but with several of their key players missing our victory was never in doubt,' Yugoslavia's coach Dejan Savicevic said.
Sliskovic said: 'Despite the result, which I think is not fair to us, I think we played well.'
Some Sarajevans said before the match that it was organised prematurely and a lot of them appeared to have decided to boycott it.
The game, a warm-up for the European championship qualifiers starting next month, was the first between the teams on the territory of the old Yugoslav federation, from which Bosnia seceded in 1992, sparking three years of war.
They met in the January 2001 Millennium Cup in India.
Bosnia play Romania, Denmark, Norway and Luxembourg in group two of the European qualifiers, starting at home to the Romanians on September 7 or 8.
Yugoslavia are away to Italy in their group nine opener on October 12 or 13 and they also face Finland, Wales and Azerbaijan.
My heart = INTER...No Matter Win or Lose...
Zanetti : I still remember my first day at Inter. I arrived with a plastic bag with my boots inside and I crossed the crowd of fans who were asking who I was. That's where it all started.....