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Argentina vs Iceland, World Cup: Final Score 1-1, Lionel Messi misses penalty in disappointing opener

Leo gave his all, but it wasn’t a good day for him and his team

Argentina v Iceland: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images

Lionel Messi and Argentina had a bad start to the World Cup with a 1-1 draw against a heroic Iceland who had an incredible debut in the competition. The Albiceleste played good football at times, but could not find more than one goal against a fierce Icelandic defense, and Messi missed a penalty to make things even worse.


The Albiceleste had a solid start to the match, dominating possession and managing to find spaces inside the Iceland defense. Sergio Agüero scored a sensational goal to put his team ahead, but Willy Caballero helped Iceland equalize just three minutes later. From that point on, the 2014 finalists put on the pressure and forced their opponents into the lowest of low blocks, but Argentina just could not find a way to creat real chances.

Lionel Messi was heavily marked and surround by multiple bodies at all times, but the captain still managed to be dangerous with some quick one-twos with teammates and shots from distance. But at halftime, Iceland were defending at a very high level and getting a point for their efforts.


Argentina needed a winner in the second half, so they went forward with purpose and numbers. But Iceland continued to display incredible solidity without the ball, and Messi became more and more frustrated as time went on. Things got even worse when Messi missed a penalty and began forcing bad passes and trying to beat five Iceland defenders in a row, and it also helped that no other Argentina player was helping their captain in any way.

Desperation hit its peak for Argentina in the final five minutes, and we saw zero creativity from the Albiceleste. It’s a bad start for Argentina and Messi, and they need to be a lot better to have any chance in this tournament.

Argentina: Caballero; Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico; Meza (Higuaín), Mascherano, Biglia (Banega), Di María (Pavón); Messi, Agüero

Goal: Agüero (19’)

Iceland: Halidórsson; Saevarsson, Árnason, Sigurdsson, Mangússon; Gudmundsson (Gíslason), Gunnarsson (Skúlason), Hallfredsson, Bjarnason; Sigurdsson, Finnbogason (Sigurdarson)

Goal: Finnbogason (23’)

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