THAT'S ONE FINE MESSI; Lionel Shrugs off Form Fears to Crack Wonder Goal ARGENTINA 2 BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA 1 BY ED CASEY

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), June 16, 2014 | Go to article overview

THAT'S ONE FINE MESSI; Lionel Shrugs off Form Fears to Crack Wonder Goal ARGENTINA 2 BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA 1 BY ED CASEY


Byline: ED CASEY

LIONEL MESSI shrugged off fears about his form to produce a moment of magic that earned Argentina a vital opening victory.

The Barcelona star's standards had dipped in recent months and he looked out of sorts for much of this match.

His side had been given a perfect start when Sead Kolasinac netted the fastest-ever World Cup own goal in three minutes but Argentina looked stale as Bosnia seized the initiative.

However, in 65 minutes Messi burst into life to score a goal of typical brilliance.

That lifted his side and they should have added to their lead before they were given a late scare when Bosnian sub Vedad Ibisevic netted what proved to be a consolation 86 minutes.

The scene was set perfectly for Messi and Argentina to strut their stuff in front of an expectant global audience.

The legendary Maracana was packed to capacity as it hosted its first World Cup match since 1950.

And it looked as if the match would live up to expectations when Argentina won an early free kick on the left when Sergio Aguero was fouled by Mensur Mujdza.

Messi curled in a tantalising set piece that was flicked on by Marcos Rojo and Bosnia defender Kolasinac could only watch as the ball rebounded off his shin and into the back of the net.

The catastrophic start for Bosnia looked set to give Argentina the platform to impose their class on the match.

However, it was Safet Susic's men who soon started to dominate with Argentina looking pedestrian on the ball.

Bosnia created a decent chance when Miralem Pjanic clipped a lovely-weighted ball over the top of the defence to find the incisive run of Izet Hajrovic.

His first touch was sublime but Sergio Romero was quick off his line and the Galatasaray winger just couldn't touch it away from the onrushing keeper.

Argentina's talisman Messi looked hesitant on the ball and his cause wasn't helped by the fact three Bosnians surrounded him every time he got possession. …

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