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Messi brilliance gives Argentina victory in opening game

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO - Lionel Messi scored a brilliant individual goal to bring Argentina out of their slumber to beat Bosnia 2-1 in the Balkan nation's first appearance at the World Cup finals.

After giving away the fastest own goal in World Cup history - two minutes and eight seconds — the Bosnians frustrated Messi and his superstar teammates for much of yesterday's Group F clash in a Maracana stadium packed with Argentine fans.

Messi struck in the 64th minute, dancing around Bosnian players on the edge of the penalty area before firing past goalkeeper Asmir Begovic without even looking up to see where the goal was.

With just two minutes on the clock Messi also took a free kick on the left that Marcos Rojo headed on to the legs of Sead Kolasinac. The ball would have gone wide but the rebound flew past Begovic into the goal.

Bosnia recovered however, contained Messi and the rest of the Argentine strike force who appeared increasingly frustrated until the Barcelona superstar's second half goal.

Even after going two goals down, Bosnia did not give up.

After 84 minutes, substitute Vedad Ibisevic picked up the ball in the Argentinian penalty area. The ball hit goalkeeper Sergio Romero's legs and trickled into the goal setting up a finale that gave both teams plenty of nervous moments. Messi fired one shot into the side netting with an almost open goal.

Argentina next play Iran in Belo Horizonte on Saturday (Sunday AEST). Bosnia play Nigeria in Cuiaba the same day.

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