September 8, 2019 / 4:00 PM / 8 days ago

Mkhitaryan scores twice as Armenia stun Bosnia

YEREVAN (Reuters) - Armenia captain Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored twice as Armenia stunned Bosnia with a dramatic 4-2 win in their Euro 2020 qualifier on Sunday, prompting the resignation of Bosnia’s coach Robert Prosinecki.

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group J - Armenia v Bosnia and Herzegovina - Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia - September 8, 2019 Armenia's Henrikh Mkhitaryan in action REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

The win lifted Armenia above Bosnia in Group J as they moved into third place with nine points, three behind Finland, while Bosnia are fourth with seven.

The top two qualify for next year’s tournament although Bosnia could also qualify through the Nations League playoffs after winning their group in that competition.

“I was very optimistic and I still think Bosnia is a very good team but something obviously isn’t right,” said Prosinecki on the Bosnia FA website after the defeat.

“It seems I have failed to motivate the team.”

The game got off to a lively start as Edin Dzeko hit the post with a low shot for Bosnia before his AS Roma team mate Mkhitaryan gave the hosts a third-minute lead.

The midfielder collected Tigran Barseghyan’s cross from the right before pushing it past goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic and thumping it into the net.

Bosnia hit back 10 minutes later as Amer Gojak’s inswinging cross found Dzeko who got away from the Armenia defence to turn the ball into the net.

Mkhitaryan, Armenia’s record scorer, put his team back in front in the 66th minute when he provided an emphatic finish to a well-worked move, his 29th goal for his country, but Gojak levelled again for Bosnia four minutes later.

Mkhitaryan then turned provider as he supplied a perfect cross for Hovhannes Hambardzumyan to score at the far post in the 77th minute.

Gojak could have equalised in stoppage time but volleyed wide from a good position and then Stjepan Loncar turned Mkhitaryan’s cross into his own net to complete the scoring.

Finland were at home to Italy later on Sunday (1845 GMT).

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ian Chadband

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