Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko is usually known to keep his cool in front of the goal when it matters the most. But sometimes even the most calm and collected can have a moment of utter madness. On Sunday, in a World Cup Qualifier between Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dzeko had one of those days and became a case for one of football's most bizarre sending offs.
Fifteen minutes from time in a game that Dzeko's Bosnia were leading through a Miralem Pjanic free-kick, the former Manchester City striker got involved in a feisty tussle for the ball with Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos that led to him ending up on the floor. With Papadopoulos refusing to move even after the play was stopped by the referee, Dzeko vented out his frustration by pulling down his shorts.
After failing in the first attempt, the Bosnian striker made sure he completed the act second time around. Still unmoved, Dzeko moved away from under his legs and pushed Papadopoulos down on the ground.
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While the rest of the players tried to cool down the situation, the referee felt the line had already been crossed and sent off both Dzeko and Papadopoulos. While the latter was given a straight red, the former was left a bit embarrassed for receiving a second yellow card of the evening for pulling down an opponent's pant.
However there was to be insult to to injury as Bosnia and Herzegovina who Dzeko skippers conceded a late equaliser in injury time. The late goal also dealt a blow to their chances of qualification as they remained five points behind the Belgium in third place.
Dzeko was furious after the game and blamed the referee for dishing out the card for no reason. “I got a red card for no reason, I don’t know why. The referee says I started the whole thing, but I was the only one ending on the floor, so how could I have started it?
“I feel like losing 3-0. Greece didn’t deserve this point. They didn’t even deserve a 1-0 loss, they deserved to lose 4-0.” he added.
The 30-year-old striker has been in sublime form this season, scoring 10 goals in 12 Serie A games for AS Roma who sit four points behind leaders Juventus in the table. However the comical sending that will see him miss their next game would come as a blot on what has been a near perfect season for the striker.
Roma fans, however, will be hoping their top marksman will be able to shrug off midweek memories and be on target again when they travel to Atalanta in the league
The result in Blida kept reigning African champions Algeria top of Group A, ahead of Burkina Faso on goal difference in a two-team fight to finish first and qualify for the final elimination round next March.
South American teams are playing three World Cup qualifiers crammed into a single week but the last of those are on Thursday, 14 October, just two days before the major clubs play their next Premier League fixtures.