2018 FIFA World Cup | Argentina vs Iceland | Match Report

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2018 FIFA World Cup: Lionel Messi Misses Penalty As Debutants Iceland Earn Famous 1-1 Draw Against Argentina 

2018 FIFA World Cup: Lionel Messi Misses Penalty As Debutants Iceland Earn Famous 1-1 Draw Against Argentina

Lionel Messi missed a penalty as Argentina could only manage an 1-1 stalemate with Iceland in their World Cup-opener. With Diego Maradona watching on from the stands, Messi had the chance to fire Argentina to the lead. However, the Barcelona superstar failed to convert from the spot in the second half of an exciting game at the Otkrytie Arena in Moscow.

The game saw a lively start as both the teams refused to sit back. Both the team carved out decent chances in the opening stage before Sergio Aguero broke the deadlock in the 19th minute. The Manchester City star broke his World Cup duck at the ninth attempt with a rising left-footed drive. However, the joy and lead was short-lived.

Iceland, making their World Cup debut, did not show any nerves and were duly rewarded for it. Just four minutes after Aguero’s opener,  Alfred Finnbogason capitalised on Willy Caballero’s weak punch to score his country’s maiden goal in the history of the tournament.

The entertaining half ended with the score level. Argentina started the second half with a sense of urgency. Angel Di Maria won a corner just three minutes after the restart to make Argentina’s intentions clear. However, the South Americans were just finding it tough to find a chink in Iceland’s backline. And shortly after the hour mark, they got a golden opportunity to take the lead.

The referee did not hesitate in pointing towards the spot after Magnusson pushed Meza in the back in the box. But Messi’s kick was saved brilliantly by Hannes Halldorsson as the Iceland No 1 guessed right and dived to his right to palm the shot away. The keeper also produced a late save to keep out an attempt from substitute Cristian Pavon to help his side escape with a famous draw.

Argentina will now hope to up the ante when they face Croatia in Nizhny on Thursday. On the other hand, Iceland will be looking to deliver on the same lines against Nigeria on the following day.



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