What went wrong for Argentina vs Iceland?

Sampaoli denies underestimating Iceland after naming XI

"It was the advantage", said Messi about his penalty.

Substitute Cristian Pavon almost scored the victor for Argentina four minutes from time but his curling effort was saved by Halldorsson.

Unfortunately Lionel Messi and his Argentina teammates were less fortunate against a resilient Iceland side, in their opening fixture at the 2018 World Cup.

Unfortunately Iceland keeper Hannes Halldorsson was smart to assume a more central position on the goal line, because Messi barely picked his spot, walking away dismayed.

He went equally nuts when Finnbogason's equalizer went in.

However, Iceland, the smallest nation ever to qualify, refused to roll over, with midfielders Aron Gunnarsson, Emil Hallfredsson and Birkir Bjarnason grafting like troopers to double up on Messi and shut down the spaces Argentina were trying to work.

Lionel Messi missed yet another penalty kick and Iceland held on for a 1-1 draw against Argentina in an impressive World Cup debut on Saturday.

Sergio Aguero had opened the scoring for Argentina at Spartak Stadium with a sharp turn and shot on 19 minutes, but Iceland levelled through Alfred Finnbogason just four minutes later - giving the nation their first-ever World Cup goal.

While Argentina controlled the ball for large stretches, they held steady at the back, and with 20 minutes remaining the situation was summed up when Banega curled a hopeful, rather than unsafe, shot towards the 'keeper from outside the box.

Argentina legend Diego Maradona says the team's draw with Iceland was a "disgrace" and warned manager Jorge Sampaoli "he can't come back to Argentina" playing like that. "We need to be strong as a group, believe in ourselves and know we have all the tools to beat anybody".

Argentina's Angel Di Maria created the first threat of the second half, winning a corner after a run down the left, but Otamendi steered his header well over.

"I had a good feeling he would go that way today".

According to the Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman, Messi was paying the price for the decision to cancel a World Cup warm-up match between Israel and Argentina that was planned to take place on 9 June in Jerusalem.

Messi feels Argentina were the superior side and deserved to win, but is already looking ahead to a tough encounter with Croatia, who would later in the day, defeat Nigeria 2-0 to top the group for now.

They hit on the counter and gave the South Americans a scare when Bjorn Sigurdarson pounced on a loose ball only to rifle his shot just wide of the post.

And finally, arguably the two best players in the world, Messi and Ronaldo will always play their personal battle even if the two players aren't really competing. Talking on the draw, Messi hailed the performance of the Icelanders "We weren't thinking about starting with one point from the first match, but it's the first match".

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