Bosnia edges Mexico 1-0 in warm-up match
CHICAGO (AP) Izet Hajrovic scored from close range in the 41st minute, and Bosnia and Herzegovina defeated Mexico 1-0 in a pre-World Cup friendly Tuesday night.
Hajrovic maneuvered into open space 8 yards from the net and left-footed Sejad Salihovic's feed from the left side past diving goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera. Senad Lulic also assisted.
It was Bosnia's best offensive chance since the first 12 minutes, when forward Edin Dezko took three shots, the first saved and the others floating over the net.
Bosnia goalkeeper Asmir Begovic got his squad's first shutout of the exhibition series. His two saves came late, on Francisco Rodriguez's header in the 86th minute and Miguel Ponce's 35-yard shot in the 92nd.
Mexican favorite Javier ''Chicharito'' Hernandez rifled a shot off the left post 24 minutes in, prompting a loud groan from the largely pro-Mexico crowd of 60,707 at Soldier Field. Hernandez was held shotless thereafter, and replaced by Alan Pulido in the second half.
Dzeko was a surprise starter after being listed as a sub, one of three last-minute changes that came as a surprise to Mexico coach Miguel Herrera. The Dragons' adjustments to their starting lineup created defensive confusion for Mexico for the first few minutes.
Hajrovic was unaccountably left open on Bosnia's goal after having been tightly marked for most of the first half. Dzeko was unmarked before his first shot, which Talavera saved by diving to his right in the fourth minute, and fired two more shots in the next four minutes.
After that, the Mexican defense settled in, and the Bosnians were held to the sides of the penalty area until Salihovic found the open Hajrovic.
Hernandez' goalless run for Mexico dates back to last year's Confederations Cup in Brazil. The Manchester United regular scored both goals in Mexico's 2-1 victory over Japan on June 22, and has been shut out for El Tri since.
It was the last pre-World Cup match for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which begins its Group F series against Argentina in Rio de Janeiro on June 15.
Mexico defender Rafa Marquez missed the match, nursing a bruised toe from Saturday's friendly against Ecuador. He's expected to be available when Mexico concludes its pre-World Cup tour against Portugal in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Friday.