Well, it’s coming up to eleven o’clock on a Sunday night here in England, and this is, of course, the ideal time to schedule our first look at the Argentina side that many are tipping to go a long way in this tournament. On the flip side, their opponents this evening will be making their first World Cup appearance and will be looking to grab an upset here.
A lot of the pressure will be heaped on Argentinian star man Lionel Messi and the Barcelona maestro will hope to steal the show on football’s biggest stage for the first time. His previous 571 minutes of World Cup football has only harboured one goal but his form at club level means he has the capability to do something fantastic in Brazil. There were no major issues in qualifying as they finished top of the South American section ahead of fellow finalists Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Uruguay. Argentina have an all start cast of attacking talent – in the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Ezequiel Lavezzi – but their defensive talent shouldn’t be overlooked. The two-time winners have won nine of their last 12 World Cup group games and only conceded four goals during that time.
Bosnia meanwhile, taking their bow in the finals, come into this game off the back of two fantastic friendly wins against Ivory Coast and Mexico who have both also qualified for the tournament. Their plane tickets to Brazil were secured in a thrilling race for top spot in European Qualifying Group G. Finally finishing ahead of Greece on goal difference thanks to a 1-0 victory over Lithuania in their final match. There are many reasons to be confident of their chances to make an impact. Premier League followers know all about Asmir Begovic’s quality in goal for Stoke, playmaker Miralem Pjanic has enjoyed an impressive campaign for much-improved Roma and Edin Dzeko leads the line with quality and ability. Bosnia could spring a surprise, not only tonight, but in the tournament itself.
In fact, Richard was so confident in their chance that he thinks this game could be a contender for “game of the groups” – if not the tournament. However, that was before the Costa Rica result yesterday and the white-washing of Spain.
You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking here.
You can follow Richard Grinham on Twitter by clicking here.
Bosnia can certainly get out of this group.
They played well against a team with quite a few “superstars”. Most of which they contained for large period’s of time
Yeah, the timing of these late kick-off games is a bit of a pain.
Bosnia suddenly came to life over the last five minutes – since scoring – but haven’t looked like grabbing another one.
And it’s all over. Half the planet can now go to sleep.
Ibisevic has grabbed one back tucking a through ball between the legs of the Flapper. Their first ever goal in tte World Cup finals.
Interesting moments ahead.
Every Bosnian cross this half has been beaten away by the first defender. Looking deflated now with around 10 minutes left (including injury time)
Mark Lawrenson has probably had his least monotone game tonight.
Messi’s feet move so quickly.
Visca has also come on for Hajrovic. He has had a good game but Visca is a winger at heart and should provide much needed width.
A change now for Bosnia. Ibisevic on to add another man up top.
Think that was the intention before the second goal.
Almost three there from Aguero and we can comfortably say that Argentina have found another gear after that goal.
Messi makes it 2-0 after a quick one-two with Aguero. Just had the extra zip to beat the Bosnian defence. Goes in off the inside of the left post.
Over the bar by some margin.
Maybe these two centre forwards are what Lionel needed afterall
Spahic booked for a lunge on Aguero. Freekick to Argentina and it’s in Messi territory.
Game getting stretched now.
Messi picks up the ball just outside of the Bosnia area and jumps forward, the ball finds it’s way to Aguero but his shot is comfortable for Begovic to hold.
Guess where Messi is?
Yep, halfway line still.
I love that Bosnia are the ‘flavour of choice’ tonight.
Hajrovic takes a direct freekick but Romero is equal to it – as the shot ended up being straight at him.
Gago has also come on for Campagnaro
The teams have just come back out for the second half. Higuain is on for Maxi Rodriguez.
Bosnia get us going again.
I’d love to see who lasts longer between Neil Lennon and Gordon Strachan in the midday Brazilian sunshine.
So we’re going in at half time. Argentina still leading by one after that third minute own goal. Bosnia have grown into this as the first half has gone on. Cool, calm and collected; they can feel a little hard done by that some bad luck means the scores aren’t level.
Dzeko looks like a Giant next to these Argentines.
That was almost the header you were expecting Ted
Most of the touches Messi has had over the last 10 minutes have been on or around the half way line.
Pjanic is working tirelessly all over the pitch. Had a great season with Roma and looks to be continuing his fine form.
Bosnia have really grown into this whole World Cup thing. Its become a very even game. The Europeans are well organised and their ability to get up and down the pitch as a team is causing the Argentina squad to make some rushed decisions. They have made Aguero almost completely anonymous. Messi is also having to come deep to pick the ball up.
Zabaleta doesn’t like strong left backs. Kolasinic is proving that tonight.
Quarter of the game down now and Bosnia certainly aren’t rolling over.
It is a very good point. Messi can dictate an attack and get forward himself. But he does seem to need activity around him.
If Argentina do well in this World Cup it won’t be because of a sturdy defence.
The BBC are very hung up on Messi’s goalscoring record this evening. The three time Ballon D’or winner does more than just score.
Hajrovic is left to fly past the Argentina defence. Sadly his toe-poke hits Romero before the ball is cleared.
Not sure the Keeper knew much about that.
Bosnia have just had their first real spell of possession and you can see their plan is to work the ball quickly down the wings. If they can get some crosses in Dzeko could certainly hurt this Argentinian back three.
Especially with a dodgy keeper between the posts
Hajrovic looks like a young Miroslav Klose
The defender didn’t know much about that. Bosnia have barely touched the ball yet with five minutes played.
Dzeko certainly hasn’t had the ball.
Early free kick from the left for the South Americans and Argentina are ahead after a deflection by defender Kolasinac
Argentina get the game started.
So we’ll be watching blue against light blue and white strips. That won’t ruin my eye… much
I take it back already that’s pretty much White only from Argentina
The Bosnia contingent look so happy to be here. Bloody ecstatic for them!
Evening Ted, fancy a cracker here tonight (hopefully that comment doesn’t Jinx it)
So we’re 15 minutes away from Bosnia-Herzegovina’s first ever World Cup game. They have had a fantastic rise in the international football scene since they gained independence nearly 20 years ago.
Their opponents tonight are without Higuain, due to injury, but their front line of Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi shouldn’t mean that they miss him too much.
Both will be looking to get off to a good start and each of their Manchester City strikers will be hoping to ruin their counterpart club team-mates night.