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Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Iran: Final score 3-1, Dragons eliminate Team Melli with first World Cup win

Bosnia and Herzegovina made history by recording their first-ever World Cup win, eliminating Iran in the process.

Felipe Oliveir

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Bracket'

Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Iran 3-1 to record their first-ever World Cup victory on Wednesday. It was a deserved win for the Dragons, who end their debut tournament on a high. Iran's defeat means they join Bosnia in being eliminated at the group stages, with Carlos Queiroz's side finishing rock bottom of Group F. Argentina and Nigeria advance.

The game started entirely as predicted, with Iran looking to keep things tight at the back and wait for Bosnia to give the ball to them rather than go chasing it themselves. It seemed to be working early on, with goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi only called into action on a snapshot from Edin Džeko in the first 20 minutes.

However, their plan was completely undone when Džeko gave the Dragons the lead from nowhere midway through the first half. He somehow found some space in a sea of Iran defenders on the edge of the penalty area, and proceeded to slide the ball against Haghighi's post and into the back of the net.

Iran were immediately forced to come out of their defensive shell, and their reaction was almost immediate. Within a couple of minutes Masoud Shojaei had poked the ball against Asmir Begović's crossbar from inside the box, with Bosnia lucky to hold onto their narrow advantage.

Despite having looked most comfortable sitting back at the World Cup so far, Team Melli just about shaded the rest of the first half after going behind. However, committing more players forward left them vulnerable at the back, and they were fortunate to not concede a second on the counter shortly before halftime, when fullback Avdija Vršajević was threaded through on goal only to fire wide from a tight angle.

Fortunately for him, his poor finishing wouldn't come back to haunt Bosnia. They comfortably withstood some early Iranian pressure in the second half, before adding a second goal courtesy of Miralem Pjanić just short of the hour. Midfielder Tino-Sven Sušić threaded his teammate in behind the Iranian defence, leaving him with a comfortable finish past Haghighi.

With Iran's hopes of making the knockout stage all but dashed, the second goal killed the tempo in their attacking play, though striker Reza Ghoochannejhad produced a lifeline from an unlikely Javad Nekounam cross inside the final 10 minutes. Alas, an instant riposte from Bosnia's Vršajević on the counter-attack ended any hopes of a grandstand finish, with Bosnia running out 3-1 winners.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Begović; Kolašinac, Spahić, Šunjić, Vršajević; Sušić (Salihović 79), Bešić, Hadžić Vranješ (61'); Pjanić; Džeko (Višća 84'), Ibišević.

Goals: Džeko (23'), Pjanić (59'), Vršajević (83').

Iran: Haghighi; Pooladi, Sadeghi, Hosseini, Montazeri; Nekounam; Dejagah (Ansarifard 68'), Teymourian, Hajsafi (Jahanbakhsh 63'), Shojaei (Heydari 46'); Ghoochannejhad.

Goals: Ghoochannejhad (82').