Soccer-Susic rues Bosnia exit, considers future as coach

SALVADOR, Brazil, June 25 (Reuters) - Bosnia coach Safet Susic said the Balkan nation's first World Cup appearance was also his last and remained undecided on his future after they bowed out of the tournament with a 3-1 defeat of Iran on Wednesday.

"This was my last game at the World Cup," he told reporters.

"Unfortunately there will not be another one.

"Sometimes it is a nice feeling to be free of obligations. I can decide my own fate and this is my answer," added the 59-year old former international forward who played for Yugoslavia in the 1982 and 1990 tournaments.

Susic, whose contract expires after the World Cup, came under fire from Bosnian media for reverting to a cagey 4-5-1 formation in defeats by Argentina and Nigeria which made sure the Bosnians had only pride to play for against Iran.

They played with more adventure on Wednesday and were rewarded with their first World Cup win to finish third in Group F.

Asked whether he would stay in charge for the Euro 2016 qualifiers, he said: "I cannot tell you either way tonight. I said I would be sad to leave this team sometime. If I had a firm answer I would give it you.

"The win against Iran is scant consolation, but I congratulate my players for a display of commitment and passion against a team needing a win to keep alive their hopes of progressing."

"With a better performance and less refereeing mistakes in the second match, we would have probably had cause for a celebration today," he said, referring to an Edin Dzeko goal wrongly disallowed for offside in a 1-0 defeat by Nigeria.

Bosnian fans and pundits had high hopes that a team led by prolific striker Dzeko would feature as dark horses and Susic acknowledged that his outfit had underachieved.

"I feel sorry for those we have disappointed. We should have done better by the quality of our players but now is the time for this team to look forward to Euro 2016 qualifiers.

"We lacked experience and cool heads at crucial moments in the opening two games but I cannot complain about effort. That's just football." (Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; additional reporting by Mark Gleeson; editing by Justin Palmer)