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Bosnia holds Greece 0-0 in WCup qualifier

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PIRAEUS, Greece (AP) -Bosnia held Greece to a 0-0 draw in a World Cup qualifier Friday, with both sides squandering chances to score.

An unmarked Fanis Gekas hit the post in the fifth minute after Georgios Samaras pushed his way past two defenders to set up the chance.

Zvjezdan Misimovic hit back in the 24th, beating Greek goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis with a shot from close range, but Yiannis Maniatis cleared the ball off the line.

Ten minutes later, Greece's Vassilis Torosidis hit the crossbar.

Greece dominated in the second half, spurred on by Giorgos Karagounis who came on in the 66th minute, for his 121st cap to become Greece's all-time leader in international appearances and beat former captain Theo Zagorakis' record set in 2007.

Dimitris Salpigidis could have settled it for Greece in the 78th with only Bosnia goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to beat but his shot was blocked.

Friday's result let Slovakia share the lead in Group G with Greece and Bosnia, with the three countries level on seven points.

"I think we were a bit unlucky ... We're not happy with the result, but there's nothing we can do about it now," Greece coach Fernando Santos said. "They were always dangerous but we were in control in the second half.

He added: "We'll definitely be looking for a win in our next match against Slovakia. That game will be key."

A small group of Greek fans booed while the Bosnian national anthem was being played at Karaiskaki stadium, and later set fire to a Bosnian flag. The traveling fans responded by taunting the Greeks with chants of "Macedonia, Macedonia."

Greece is at odds with the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia in a 21-year-old name dispute.

Bosnia coach Safet Susic said he made no apologies for his largely defensive game.

"I'm not going to make any excuses for the way we played," he said. "I'm happy with the result. We let the Greeks create chances because we gave the ball away too much."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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