Bosnia and Herzegovina qualified for its first World Cup as an independent nation thanks to a 1-0 win over Lithuania Tuesday. The hero for Bosnia was Vedad Ibisevic, scoring the game’s only goal midway through the second half. Bosnia needed to win, since Greece won its game with Lichtenstein and subsequently finished second.
Ibisevic remains a player of note for American soccer fans. Although born in Yugoslavia, he grew up in the St. Louis area. Before embarking on a European career that included stops in France and now Germany, he spent a year playing for the St. Louis Billikens.
He’s one of those players, along with Nevan Subotic and famously Giuseppe Rossi, who could have played for the U.S. National Team but ended up playing internationally for a different country. Ibisevic, however, never gained U.S. citizenship, so much of the grousing about him never getting a chance to get called up by the U.S. comes well after the fact.
With this trio, it will always be, what if?
Bosnia is certainly grateful Ibisevic never had the chance to play for the U.S.
Consider this another example of the ever-changing landscape of international soccer, with more-and-more players suiting up for their adopted homelands.
In any event, the Bosnian commentators and fans certainly went nuts when the final whistle sounded.