Safet Sušić's debutants were beaten but unbowed as they succumbed to a 2-1 reverse by Argentina in their opening Group F match.
Bosnia and Herzegovina could not have made a worse start to their first ever match at the finals as Sead Kolasinac put through his own goal inside three minutes but they were arguably the better side until a flash of brilliance from Lionel Messi made it 2-0 after 65 miunutes. Vedad Ibišević's late landmark goal kept the newcomers in the contest but Argentina hung on.
The Bosnians found themselves a goal behind before they could settle. Messi's free-kick was flicked on by Marcos Rojo and that slight touch was sufficient to divert the ball against Kolasinac and past Asmir Begović. Sušić shook his head in disbelief but his side quickly regrouped and some dogged defending and enterprising attacking play ensured Argentina could not build on their advantage.
Indeed, Sead Hajrović came close to levelling as he timed a run to perfection only for Sergio Romero to rush from his goal and repel the danger and the goalkeeper was called into an even better stop late in the first half when Senad Lulić's head powerfully steered Zvjezdan Misimović's corner towards the bottom corner.
A worried Alejandro Sabella introduced Gonzalo Higuaín and Fernando Gago at the interval but Argentina remained on the back foot as Romero had to be alert to save two bending efforts from Hajrović. It required a moment of magic from Messi to settle their nerves. The FC Barcelona talisman exchanged passes with Higuaín and danced past two challenges on the edge of the area before unleashing an unstoppable low curler in off the post.
Bosnia and Herzegovina still refused to lie down and set up an intriguing finish when Ibišević slipped an 85th-minute effort through the legs of Romero. The equaliser was a step too far, however with games against Nigeria and Iran (who drew 0-0 in their opening game) to come Sušić's men showed they have the quality to advance to the knockout stages.
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|1||Sergio Romero (GK)||1||Asmir Begović (GK)|
|2||Ezequiel Garay||3||Ermin Bičakčić|
|4||Emir Spahić (C)|
|4||Pablo Zabaleta||5||Sead Kolašinac|
|7||Ángel Di María||7||Muhamed Bešić|
|10||Lionel Messi (C)|
|14||Javier Mascherano||11||Edin Džeko|
|17||Federico Fernández||16||Senad Lulić|
|12||Agustin Orion (GK)||12||Jasmin Fejzic (GK)|
|21||Mariano Andújar (GK)||22||Asmir Avdukić (GK)|
|8||Enzo Pérez||9||Vedad Ibišević|
|13||Augusto Fernandez||15||Toni Šunjić|
|15||Martín Demichelis||17||Senijad Ibričić|
|18||Rodrigo Palacio||18||Haris Medunjanin|
|19||Ricardo Álvarez||19||Edin Višća|
|22||Ezequiel Lavezzi||21||Anel Hadzic|
|23||José Maria Basanta||23||Sejad Salihović|
|Alejandro Sabella (ARG)||Safet Sušić (BIH)|
|Joel Aguilar (SLV)|
|William Torres (SLV), Juan Zumba (SLV)|
|Djamel Haimoudi (ALG)|