Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (SportsNetwork.com) - Lionel Messi scored a wonderful goal in the second half to help Argentina to a 2-1 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Maracana on Sunday in Group F play.
Bosnia's World Cup debut couldn't have gotten off to a worse start as the team went behind inside of three minutes to an own goal from Sead Kolasinac.
Argentina was below par for much of the match and struggled to break down Bosnia's defense, but Messi provided a moment of magic in the 65th to brighten up the proceedings as he combined with Gonzalo Higuain to notch his second career World Cup goal.
Vedad Ibisevic pulled a goal back for Bosnia six minutes from time, but Argentina was able to hold on for three points to move to the top of the group, while Nigeria and Iran will square off on Monday in the group's other contest.
Argentina won a free kick on the left wing in the opening three minutes, and the South American side took a fortuitous lead as Messi swung the ball into the area for Marcos Rojo, whose flicked header struck Bosnia's Kolasinac at the back post and redirected into the net.
Yet after that early goal, Argentina's attack was slowed and Bosnia nearly equalized in the 41st minute when Senad Lulic turned a header on goal from a corner kick that forced Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero to make a diving save.
The game needed an injection of life as the hour mark passed, and Messi provided it with some lovely combination play involving Higuian.
Barcelona's star man began the move with a pass to Higuian, who promptly returned it, allowing Messi to round a defender at the edge of the penalty area and drive a low shot off the left post and into the net.
Argentina began to find more space in the attacking third as Bosnia opened up, but Alejandro Sabella's side was unable to add to its lead, and Bosnia cut into that advantage in the 84th minute when a cross from Lulic was finished off by Ibisevic.
The lead held up over the final six minutes, but it was far from a convincing performance by Argentina, which is a team that is considered by most to be a serious threat to challenge for the World Cup.