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Rediff.com  » Sports » Plucky Bosnia make Argentina toil for full points

Plucky Bosnia make Argentina toil for full points

June 16, 2014 05:41 IST

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Bosnia-HerzegovinaThe fastest-ever World Cup own goal and a typical piece of Lionel Messi brilliance gave Argentina a 2-1 win over tournament debutants Bosnia-Bosnia-Herzegovina in their Group F clash at the Maracana on Sunday.

Bosnia's first appearance in a major tournament got off to the worst possible start when Sead Kolasinac deflected the ball into his own net in the third minute, but Argentina, odds-on favourites to top a group that also contains Nigeria and Iran, struggled to impose themselves for long periods.

Messi had been virtually anonymous but, in the 65th minute, he brought the stadium alive as he exchanged passes with Gonzalo Higuain before exploding past three defenders and then driving the ball in low off a post.

Bosnia looked down and out but pulled one back through Vedad Ibisevic to set up a nervous final few minutes for Argentina.

Image: Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring Argentina's second goal against Bosnia-Herzegovina

Photograph: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images