Argentina’s draw against Iceland a disgrace - Maradona

Bessie Dean
June 18, 2018

Messi v Ronaldo: The story so far.

After Cristiano Ronaldo's stunning display for Portugal against Spain in Sochi less than 24 hours earlier, all eyes were on rival Messi in the Russian capital.

Argentina's World Cup campaign got off to a disappointing start on Saturday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by spirited Iceland.

Sergio Aguero scored an eye-catching opener for the two-time world champions in the 19th minute but it was nearly immediately cancelled out by Alfred Finnbogason, whose team then held on in the face of enormous pressure. Both teams jockeyed for possessions, until halftime presided with both teams looking ahead carte blanche.

They signaled their intent from the kick off, sending seven men charging into the box to challenge as the ball was pumped long and it proved to be just the first of many uncomfortable moments for a decidedly shaky Argentine defense. Finnbogasson has inked his name in the history books as he secured Iceland's first world cup goal.

Messi's miserable afternoon in Moscow was complete when he missed a penalty with the score at 1-1, and Mourinho said the spot-kick failure had affected him.

Messi tried his luck from outside the area soon afterwards, his curling strike held by Halldorsson - but, out of the blue, Iceland were level after 23 minutes, Alfreo Finnbogason stabbing home amid defensive chaos.

Watch and find out.

The opening football match under Group D at Moscow's Otkrtitie Arena will see opposite national teams clash as FIFA World Cup veterans meet one of the event's latest debutants. Croatia beat Nigeria 2-0 in Saturday's other Group D game and they top the group on three points, with Argentina and Iceland on a point apiece. Iceland is the smallest country to reach a World Cup but there is nothing small about the character of this team or the support they get.

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"I looked at a lot of penalties by Messi and I also looked at how I had been behaving in the last penalties".

Christian Hartmann / Reuters Argentina's Javier Mascherano in action with Iceland's Gylfi Sigurdsson.

"I had a good feeling it would go this way today", he said of his dive to his right to stop Messi's uninspired effort.

Who thought Iceland's first goal in the world cup will come against Argentina?

"To evaluate and characterize his work is hard", said Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli.

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.

Despite their broad experience and an attacking roster led by Messi alongside Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero, Argentina ahve struggled in qualifying round. team manager Jorge Sampaoli's camp only secured their spot to Russian Federation thanks to a hat-trick from Messi in their last qualifier versus Ecuador.

His coach Heimir Hallgrimsson agreed, although he would not have been able to pick a man of the match from a team performance that good.

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