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.