By TIM FONTENAULT
An eight-year drought came to an end Sunday night.
Argentina defeated World Cup newcomer Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2-1 in Rio de Janeiro, thanks to a stunning 65th minute goal from captain Lionel Messi, his first World Cup goal since 2006.
Messi, from a dead stop, blew past a Bosnian defender, performed a quick give and go with Gonzalo Higuain, skipped past two more defenders and fired a goal off the left post and past helpless Bosnian keeper Asmir Begovic. The goal was Messi’s second ever World Cup goal and gave the Argentinians a 2-0 lead.
Argentina took the lead after three minutes, when Messi swung a free kick into the box, hitting Bosnian defender Sead Kolasinac. Begovic could not stop it from rolling into the net.
For about 10 minutes after that, Argentina looked to be closing in on a second, but it was Bosnia that got the better chances leading up to Messi’s goal. Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero was called into action six times, making five saves.
The one that beat Romero was Bosnia’s last chance. Vedad Ibisevic put a shot right at Romero as he charged into the box down the left side. He managed to put the ball through Romero’s legs, and the ball trickled into the net.
Argentina, however, was able to hold on for the final eight minutes, securing three points from the opening match in Group F.
Messi’s goal was deflected, and it appears by the angle it was deflected that it would have otherwise gone wide. He made some great moves to get the shot off, but got lucky with the deflection.
Regardless, good for Messi and Argentina – but I wish headline writers and fans would stop calling it a wonder-goal.
Does Bosnia and Herzegovina boast highest talent:organization ratio in this World Cup? They played like they’d never met each other before.
Actually my vote would be for Ivory Coast. Yeah they got the W but man they struggled to build anything. But yeah, I hear you, they are a damn talented group of players though.
I would also agree Ivory Coast but they have supreme physical talent. If Iry Coast can just play smarter they have the talent to go far.
Noticed that, but I think until proven otherwise the award for highest talent:org ratio has to always be assumed to belong to the Brits.
Well, I suppose there is a subtle difference between lacking organization and dumb, predictable tactics, so I could go with B&H or the Ivory Coast.
Paul: good point. How about we call it the “Golden Lion” award, in honor of perennial examples England and to fit in with the Golden Boot/Ball awards.
(Also, I agree that there is a subtle difference. England lack organization because they can’t agree on a leader.)