Belfast Telegraph

With bit of luck Northern Ireland could have beaten Bosnia, says Dallas

Up close: Stuart Dallas finds himself surrounded in Sarajevo
Up close: Stuart Dallas finds himself surrounded in Sarajevo

By Paul Ferguson

Winger Stuart Dallas felt a lack of lady luck had a major bearing on Northern Ireland's defeat to Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo on Monday night.

Bosnia opened the scoring after Northern Ireland left back Jamal Lewis slipped at a vital time on the edge of the box as he attempted a clearance, while midfielder George Saville hit the bar once in the first half and winger Gavin Whyte twice in the second period.

The Leeds United ace says: "It's bad fortune, you can't pinpoint anyone. Jamal's a young player and he'll learn from this, it could happen to anybody.

"We could have been 2-0 up before they even scored but we went into our shell a little bit. We've had chances to get something out of the game but we haven't been able to score. At this level, you get punished.

"It's all ifs and buts now when I think about those chances - you've got a split second to make a decision. You need a bit of luck in games too, I believe, and we haven't had the rub of the green.

"Look, we'll re-group, we'll go again in November, we've two big games."

The Northern Ireland players were disappointed with their performance in Vienna last Friday night, despite nearly securing a point with Will Grigg's glancing header that came off the post, and they were determined to produce a much improved display in Sarajevo.

For large parts of the game they did just that, starting the game especially well, however Dallas concedes Edin Dzeko's opener was a body blow they took a while to recover from.

"Look, we set ourselves high standards - for the first 25 minutes we were the better team, created chances, played on the front foot," added Dallas, who won his 34th cap at the Stadion Grbavica.

"But when they scored I felt we went into our shell a little bit, I don't know why that was.

"We started the second half, we tried to press, and we had a chance at 1-0… if that goes in, it changes the game, but then they break away and score the second goal.

"If you give a striker (Edin Dzeko) of that quality chances, he's going to punish you.

"We did do alright in spells, but it's disappointing, we came to win and we couldn't do that."

Belfast Telegraph


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