Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bosnia-Herzegovina v Wales: Kanu out to finish the job

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Oct 2015

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Hal Robson-Kanu has challenged Wales to make history and qualify for Euro 2016 when they take on Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Stadion Bilino Polje on Saturday.

Chris Coleman’s side need just one point from their final two qualifiers against this weekend’s opponents and then Andorra if they are to reach their first major tournament in more than half a century.

Wales have been absent from both the European Championships and the World Cup since 1958 but Coleman’s men are unbeaten at the top of Group B.

Even a defeat for the Welsh could see them qualify with a game to spare, provided Belgium fail to beat Andorra on Saturday.

A frustrating 0-0 draw against Israel in Cardiff put the potential qualification celebrations on hold but, with the odds heavily stacked in Wales’ favour, Reading striker Robson-Kanu urged his team-mates to grasp the opportunity and reach the continental tournament for the first time.

“We’re on the verge of making history but our focus is on getting the job done,” he told reporters.

“There’s a real feel-good factor around the country right now. We hope this can kick-start an exciting time for Welsh football.”

Talisman Gareth Bale is set to start on Saturday, despite having played less than half an hour for Real Madrid since injuring his calf in the Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk last month.

Alongside the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Bale represents the quality Coleman has at his disposal – something of a contrast to Welsh sides of previous years.

“You look at the difference from the time I first came into the squad, you see how far we have come,” explained midfielder David Edwards.

“To be on the verge of qualifying and the fact that it’s in our own hands is amazing.”

Following a 3-0 win over Andorra, Mehmed Bazdarevic’s hosts remain in the hunt for third place, with injury doubts Senad Lulic and captain Edin Dzeko expected to be fit.

Bosnia-Herzegovina need to gain three points on Israel in their remaining two games, with Israel boasting the better head-to-head record.

“We expect Luli to be ready, and we also hope Edin Dzeko will be available too,” assistant coach Dragan Peri said.

Boss Badarevi added: “We have the strength and quality and we are the better team than Wales.”

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