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Messi score wonder goal for Argentina against Bosnia

The little genius delivered in emphatic style with this incredible strike in his side's
opening group game clash this morning.
The pressure is on for Lionel Messi to live up to his super-star status in this World

Messi had suffered a frustrating evening as Bosnia worked hard to close him down
whenever he got the ball.

But the Barcelona ace finally wriggled free in the 65th minute when he came deep
into the inside right channel.

He exchanged passes with team mate Gonzalo Higuain before dropping his shoulder
to ease away from two Bosnia players and then, with the aid of a small deflection off
Mensur Mujdza, steered the ball against Asmir Begovic's right-hand post.

The ball pinged across goal and finally crossed the line off the inside of the other

The stunning strike, Argentina's second goal in a 2-1 victory, sends an warning
message to Argentina's rivals in Brazil.

Lionel Messi lights up World Cup with stunning strike in Group F victory as Argentina
triumph against Bosnia

By Henry Winter, at the Maracana

Messi at Maracana: what an event. This was part-homage to one of the game's
greats and part-launch of Argentina's World Cup campaign. The two themes were
inevitably intertwined as Lionel Messi embarked on his mission, using his
phenomenal footballing capabilities to try to guide his country to victory in these
finals that are already being hailed as one of the finest ever.

The tone of the tournament has been on attacking and here it was Messi's turn. He
was short of his highest standards, short of the brilliance that has defined his
Barcelona career but he still created Argentina's first and then scored their second,
giving the feeling of a special cameo being performed in front of an audience of
74,738, the majority enrapt by his work.

It was astonishing to think that this was only his second ever World Cup goal in nine
games. Messi's majesty in the shirt of Barcelona has rarely been repeated in the
famous strip of Argentina but he demonstrated some of his Camp Nou class after 65
minutes, racing in from the right to score, exchanging passes with Gonzalo Higuain,
steering the ball away from the chasing Muhamed Besic, and ignoring a crazy,
badly-executed attempted challenge by Ermin Bicakcic. Besic and Bicakic lay in a
tangle on the grass as Messi took another couple of strides across the D before
shooting in off a slight deflection and the post.

A birdseye view of the scene taken by a photographer captured the wreckage Messi
left in his wake, men in blue shirts scattered around the box, helpless figures bowing
before his genius. Sergio Aguero was the first to reach the celebrating Messi,
followed by Angel Di Maria. The fans simply chanted "ol, ol, ol, ol, Messi,

He has delivered. This World Cup has been given such verve by the counter
attacking of so many teams but it also needs the stars to shine as Neymar did for

Brazil, as Arjen Robben did for Holland. Now Messi has responded to he challenge,
also setting the tone of individual excellence, of the expression of talent, for others.

All eyes had been on Messi. All weekend, Argentinian fans had been arriving at
Copacabana beach, parking their blue-and-white-painted camper vans, enjoying
time in the bars and on that vast stretch of sand before heading to Maracana to pay
homage to their little No 10.

Some walked to this historic ground, weaving between the gridlocked traffic,
hurrying towards the turnstiles, eager to get a glimpse of Messi at Maracana.
Pairings don't come much more stellar.

It felt a quasi-religious experience. Messi's appearance on the huge screens, leaving

the Argentina dressing-room, lifted the rapture levels. His arrival on the pitch was
greeted with thousands of camera phones charting his every step, the lights
spreading across the terraces like beacons on cliffs.

This was more than Messi at Maracana of course. That was the main theme but
Bosnia-Herzegovina had ambitions of their own. Edin Dzeko wore a look on his face
during the national anthems of a man meaning business. Yet it was his Manchester
City team-mate Aguero who had the first touch, who played the ball off to Messi as
if signalling the chain of command, the tactics. Give the ball to Messi.

When Aguero was then fouled out wide, Messi took control, curling in the free-kick
with his left foot, the ball clipping Marcos Rojo and carrying on across goal. It caught
Sead Kolasinac, the Schalke defender and bounced in. Argentina are dangerous
enough anyway, particularly when the ball is with Messi, Aguero or Di Maria, without
them being gifted goals.

Messi was playing slightly off Aguero, even tracking back and fouling Zvjezdan
Misimovic. The ball kept coming to Messi, guided to him by Maxi Rodriguez, then Di
Maria. There was 1-2 with Javier Mascherano and a drive through the middle until he
ran into a thick blue line.

Yet this fine attacking side of Alejandro Sabella has a weakness at the back, a
vulnerability almost exploited when Izet Hajrovic sprinted through but was denied
by Sergio Romero, who then pushed away a shot from Senad Lulic. Bosnia were
determined to spoil the Messi party.

Messi and Aguero strode down the tunnel for the second half deep in conversation.
The hopes of a nation weighs on their slim shoulders. Their understanding is key. Yet
they missed Higuain in the opening period, giving more of a spearhead to their
attack. The No 9 arrived at the break, taking up a position alongside Aguero with
Messi in the hole. Fernando Gago also came on, playing in midfield alongside
Mascherano, bringing more creativity. Hugo Campagnaro and Rodriguez made way.

Bosnia continued to worry Argentina, especially when the ball was with Hajrobic,
who was twice denied by Romero. There was also a real inventiveness at Bosnian
corners, the ball often angled away from the area for late-arriving players to try to
catch Argentina out.
Messi began to take control. Messi's pass to Di Maria was then intercepted. Then
Messi embarked on one of those scamper surges again, feeding the ball right to
Aguero, whose low shot flew straight at Begovic. When Aguero was clattered by
Emir Spahic, Messi curled the free-kick over. He just couldn't impose himself, often
unable to escape Bosnian marking. And then came that goal.

A reminder of Argentina's Achilles' heel, their defence, was highlighted with Bosnia
scoring through Vedad Ibesivic late on but Argentina held on. Messi's mission is