Three lessons from Argentina 2-1 Bosnia

Kolasinac's unfortunate own goal in the third minute sent La Albiceleste on their way before Messi's magic rounded up his team's win, and we look at three takeaways from the match
By Afifah Ariffin | Correspondent, Goal Singapore

Argentina ended the night with their first victory over rookies Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose debut at the World Cup saw them concede an own goal within three minutes of play, the fastest goal of the tournament thus far.

Don't mess with Messi

It has been eight years since his first ever World Cup goal and Lionel Messi has now doubled that tally in a truly magnificent fashion. The Barcelona striker danced gracefully past defenders before lashing a gorgeous shot past into the bottom corner in the 65th minute, silencing his critics who were beginning to laugh at his dismal display.

The Argentina captain had been nowhere in sight earlier on in the game, but just when the knives were coming out, just when his own fans were beginning to doubt him and just when it mattered, he reminded the world not to mess with him.

Bosnia prove they have what it takes

Bosnia-Herzegovina made their rookie World Cup appearance in tonight’s match and proved to the world that they can hold their place in the tournament. Safet Susic's men made the worst possible start to their World Cup campaign, after an unfortunate own goal by Sead Kolasinac put them behind after only two minutes and eight seconds - the fastest goal of the tournament thus far.

But despite the awful start, Susic's side settled in well as the game progressed, often giving the Argentine defence trouble up front, but they were just lacking some polish in their finishes. The Dragons had a total of 16 shots throughout the game, four more than Argentina’s attempts. 

Bosnia’s defence were also commendable in the first half, containing the ever dangerous Messi, who had failed to make his presence felt until much later. And although the side became slightly frazzled after Messi’s moment of magic, the European outfit scored their first ever World Cup goal as they redeemed themselves through a close-range finish by Vidad Ibisevic in the 84th minute.

Nonetheless, Bosnia will surely be a team to watch and they will have to count on the likes of Edin Dzeko and captain Emir Spahic to guide them past the group stages. 

Argentina need to sharpen attack

The Albiceleste had a marvelous run in the warm games before the World Cup, scoring a total of five goals in their two friendlies against Trinidad and Tobego and Slovenia, but were very disappointing in the attack against Bosnia, especially given the wealth of talent they have up front.

With big names like Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and, of course, Messi, in the frontline, one would expect the South American outfit to fill the game with goals. Yet as it turned out, more Bosnian players put their name on the scoresheet.

Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Neymar and Karim Benzema already have two goals to their name, contributing significantly to their respective country's goal tally. The Netherlands are leading in the race after a 5-1 thrashing over defending champions Spain last Friday, and we have yet to see the likes of Germany and Portugal unleash their side's frontline. Coach Alejandro Sabella will definitely need to sharpen his side’s attack in order to keep up with the rest of the stronger sides.