Bosnia’s maiden World Cup voyage got off to a rough start as Sead Kolasinac’s own goal gifted Argentina a 1-nil lead inside three minutes.
In a match that featured three City players – Aguero and Zabaleta for Argentina and Dzeko for Bosnia – it was, perhaps unsurprisingly, Leo Messi who made the difference as his 65th minute goal was enough to see Argentina to a 2-1 victory.
While Dzeko was perhaps far too quiet for a Bosnian side in desperate need of goal-scoring, Vedad Ibisevic came off the bench to score Bosnia’s first World Cup goal.
Argentina, playing in a 5-3-2, with Zabaleta positioned as a right wingback and Aguero paired up top with Messi, struggled through the first half and rarely threatened Stoke City goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic. Halftime brought changes though, as Argentina manager, Alejandro Sabella, reverted back to a 4-3-3 by introducing Fernando Gago and Gonzalo Higuain.
The change certainly brought out the most of Argentina’s attacking capability as Aguero moved out to the left while Messi moved wider right. Perhaps the most important change came as Angel Di Maria found more space to operate from the center of midfield – a position where he shone in during Real Madrid’s double Cup winning season.
The result will do little to change pre-tournament predictions as Argentina did well enough to reassure their backers of a long tournament run, while Bosnia showed they’re a capable side who should manage at least one win in their World Cup debut.