Today, with a 1-0 win over Lithuania, Bosnia-Herzegovinia has won Group G to qualify for its first World Cup and secured a place in the friendly match against Lionel Messi and Argentina that will take place on November 18 at 7:30 p.m. (CT) at Busch Stadium.
Hometown hero and former St. Louis University player Vedad Ibevsic's 68th-minute goal was the differentiator in Tuesday's contest, vaulting the Bosnian squad into first place in the group and securing their place in Brazil. The former Billiken has eight goals in ten World Cup qualifying matches, second on the team only behind Edin Dzeko with ten.
Lionel Messi leads his Argentinean squad into St. Louis as the team leader in goals with ten through qualification. Messi is the recipient of the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2010, and then received the honor again in 2011 and 2012. The 26 year old is highly regarded as the best footballer of this generation, becoming Barcelona's all-time top scorer in all official club competitions at the age of 24. At age 25, Messi became the youngest player to score 200 La Liga goals.
The match marks the second soccer match at Busch Stadium following Manchester City's 4-3 win over rivals Chelsea on May 23, 2013 in front of a capacity crowd of 48, 263. Tickets to the match start at $40 and are currently on sale at cardinals.com/soccer, the Busch Stadium box office and 314.345.9000.
"We are excited to return to St. Louis with another marquee match," said Relevent Sports CEO Charlie Stillitano. "St. Louis has proven itself to be a premier soccer market and we have no doubt that that the area's soccer fans, including the large Bosnian community, will come out in full-force."
"This is a world-class game with two world-class teams in a world-class city and we couldn't be more proud to present this contest." said Relevent Sports CEO Charlie Stillitano. "Lionel Messi is one of the best athletes across sport and that coupled with the local Bosnian passion for their home team has made it clear this will be a game to remember."
Argentina, recently qualified to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The team currently leads South American World Cup qualifying with one matches remaining. The team has won the World Cup twice and also features top players such as Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid) and Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli).
The Bosnians are led by Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic from Italian club Roma and Vedad Ibevsic who currently plays for Stuttgart in Germany.