Lionel Messi, four-time world player of the year and Argentina's best footballer since Diego Maradona graced the 1986 tournament, put his side 2-0 ahead on a night when the stadium was turned into little Buenos Aires by tens of thousands of his countrymen.

Bosnia substitute Vedad Ibisevic pegged one goal back in the 85th minute to set up a tense finale against one of the hot favourites to claim the World Cup title.

Messi’s strike partner Aguero was clearly delighted after his team’s win, calling it a ‘great beginning’ and he took to Twitter to thank the fans for their support.

“Kicking off with a victory is the best way to start. There're always things to iron out but it's a great beginning,” Aguero tweeted.

“And a huge thanks to every Argentinian who supported us, to both those at home and the thousands who joined us to Rio. C'mon, Argentina!” he added.

The match was the first game in the tournament to be played at the Maracana, which on Monday celebrates the 64th anniversary of its official opening at the start of the 1950 World Cup.

It was ironic that it was Argentina celebrating in party-style as they just about lived up their billing as odds-on favourites to qualify from a group which also includes Iran and Nigeria and keep alive their hopes of a third world title.


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