It took Lionel Messi just over an hour in Argentina’s World Cup opener against Bosnia-Herzegovina to show why so many fans consider him the best in the world.
After a frustrating first half, the Argentina captain scored in trademark style in the 65th minute on Sunday night, completing a quick one-two connection with Gonzalo Higuain and running through defenders before striking a brilliant left-footed shot off the post.
The goal, only the second for Messi on football’s biggest stage, set off wild celebrations among the throngs of Argentine fans that had turned the famed Maracana Stadium into a sea of blue and white.
It also energized an unimpressive Argentina team that was ahead at that point only because of an early own goal by Bosnia.
Vedad Ibisevic scored a close-in goal in the 85th, but Argentina held on to win 2-1 in the Group F match.
“It’s the first game, I was anxious, nervous,” Messi said. “It was important to start with a win. We’ve got to improve certain things, but it was important to start with the three points.”
Bosnia got the worst possible start to its first World Cup when Sead Kolasinovic scored an own goal after just three minutes.
Messi sent a free kick from the left flank into the penalty area that Marcos Rojo barely touched before the ball bounced off Kolasinovic’s foot into Bosnia’s goal.
Bosnia started with Edin Dzeko as a lone striker and Coach Safet Susic only added Ibisevic after Argentina’s second goal.
Argentina plays Iran on Saturday, while Bosnia will play Nigeria.
The match was the first World Cup game at the Maracana since Brazil lost to Uruguay in the final round of the 1950 tournament, which remains a deep wound in Brazilian football history.
The July 13 World Cup final will also be played at the Maracana.
Source: The EagleOnline
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