Steven Davis and Northern Ireland’s Nations League survival hopes now hang by a thread after Edin Dzeko’s excellently-taken double set up a 2-0 victory for Bosnia in Sarajevo.
The Roma striker capitalised on Jamal Lewis’s mistake in the first half to slot past Bailey Peacock-Farrell before curling confidently into the far corner midway through the second to make the points secure for the hosts.
Davis’s Green and Whites were unfortunate not to equalise on the night courtesy of Gavin Whyte, only for the forward to side foot wide from six yards after his initial effort had been blocked.
With Dzeko in rampant form, the home side may have added to their lead in the closing stages, taking full advantage of an inexperienced Irish line-up in the Bosnian capital.
Whyte struck the post late on - the third time the visitors had hit the woodwork - their Bosnian counterparts ultimately the more clinical outfit in an otherwise competitive encounter.
Club captain Davis featured for the full 90 minutes for Michael O’Neill’s men who are yet to get off the mark in their Nations League group which also contains Austria; they have two games to avoid relegation to the tier below.