ZENICA (Reuters) – Bosnia and Belgium drew 1-1 in an entertaining Euro 2016 Group B qualifier after midfielder Radja Nainggolan cancelled out Edin Dzeko’s first-half opener for the Balkan nation on Monday.
A clinical strike by the lively Dzeko gave Bosnia the lead against the run of play before Nainggolan equalised thanks to a blunder by keeper Asmir Begovic, who had kept his team afloat in the first half.
The result left the Belgians on four points from two games after their opening 6-0 home rout of Andorra while Bosnia have two points from three matches following a 2-1 home defeat by Cyprus and a 0-0 draw at Wales.
The Welsh top the group with seven points from three games after a 2-1 home win over Cyprus.
Although the outcome in Zenica piled more pressure on the Bosnians, coach Safet Susic remained upbeat about his team’s chances of reaching a second successive tournament as an independent nation following an early World Cup exit.
“The battle for Euro 2016 berths will in all likelihood go down to the wire in our group and I am sure we will be in contention until the very end,” Susic told BHT television.
“The Belgians have acquired the kind of confidence you are accustomed to seeing from the likes of Germany and are hence so difficult to play against.”
His counterpart Marc Wilmots said: “We stayed calm. We knew chances would come our way and finally we equalised.”
Begovic produced a string of superb saves either side of Dzeko’s 28th minute opener, when the Manchester City striker buried his shot past Thibaut Courtois after Miralem Pjanic squared a perfect cutback into his path. But the Stoke City keeper committed a calamitous error shortly after the break, allowing a tame Nainggolan shot from 20 metres to trickle into the back of the net under his body.