Can Bosnia-Herzegovina hold their nerve?

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Bosnia-Herzegovina's World Cup fate is in their hands. Currently sitting on top of Group G, if they win away at Lithuania this Tuesday, they'll have secured their place in Brazil next year, qualifying for the first major tournament in their history.

It sounds simple, but the country has been here before. Cast your mind back to the Euro 2004 qualifying campaign where they were on track to qualify in a tight group until a 1-1 home draw with Denmark in the final game doomed them to fourth place.

They reached the play-offs for the 2010 World Cup, only for Portugal to deny them a place in South Africa following two narrow 1-0 losses in the two legs.

There was further heartbreak in the run-up to the 2012 Euros. They missed direct qualification from Group D by a mere point, and yet again were knocked out of the play-offs by Portugal.

Despite these failures, there are reasons for the country to be optimistic about their national team. They have been prolific this campaign, with an exciting attack spearheaded by Manchester City's Eden Dzeko, Stuttgart's Vedad Ibisevic and Roma's Miralem Pjanic scoring 29 goals.

Considering this is a team also featuring Lazio's dynamic winger Senad Lulic and the Premier League main-stay Asmir Begovic between the sticks, its clear why to many of the country's four million souls, this is their 'golden generation'.

Frankly, they cannot afford to bottle it again. They are on equal points with Greece, who host Liechtenstein, the only team still without a win in the group, on Tuesday. Bosnia-Herzegovina have a massive goal difference in their favour, so just matching the Greeks' result will surely be enough.

Their task then, is clear-cut. But as recent history has illustrated, the players will not be taking anything for granted until that final whistle blows tomorrow night.

World Cup
Edin Dzeko
Asmir Begovic
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