2018-19 UEFA Nations League, League B
  • Will Grigg (90'+3')
  • Haris Duljevic (36')
  • Elvis Saric (64')

Northern Ireland beaten by Bosnia in UEFA Nations League after defensive mix-up

Northern Ireland's UEFA Nations League got to off to a losing start with a 2-1 home defeat against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Haris Duljevic opened the scoring against the run of play on 36 minutes when he tapped home Edin Dzeko's low ball into the box, but Northern Ireland were still in the game until Elvis Saric profited from a mix-up in the hosts' defence to put them in complete control of the game.

Northern Ireland pushed for a goal late and got their rewards in stoppage time when Will Grigg bundled home from a corner

Michael O'Neill's men had started the game brightly and had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down inside three minutes when George Saville went to ground in the box.

The hosts pressured Bosnia and would not allow them to settle on the ball as they continued to assert their authority on proceedings, thanks in large part to a raucous Windsor Park crowd.

It took until the 15th minute for Bosnia to get anywhere near the Northern Ireland penalty area when Eldar Civic's cross failed to beat the first man. Savile almost opened the scoring for Northern Ireland five minutes later, but just couldn't get on the end of Conor McLaughlin's cross.

However, they were caught out when, on 36 minutes, Dzeko put a low cross into the six-yard box and Duljevic nipped in behind the Northern Ireland defence to tap the ball past Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Northern Ireland had the chance to level immediately after the break as Stuart Dallas volleyed over when presented with a glorious chance.

But Saric doubled their lead when he latched onto Craig Cathcart's underhit header back to Peacock-Farrell, whose attempt to shield the ball back-fired and allowed the Bosnian to tap into an empty net.

Grigg's late goal gave Northern Ireland hope and the Wigan forward almost netted a second to rescue a dramatic point moments later.