2018 World Cup
Result: Argentina 1-1 Iceland
Date: 16 June 2018
Venue: Otkrytie Arena
FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi missed a second-half penalty as Argentina failed to secure three points in their opening 2018 World Cup clash.
Argentina were dominating possession in the early stages but could not really break down the compact Iceland defence.
However, Sergio Aguero made all the possession La Albiceleste count in the 19th minute with a superb left-footed strike inside the box that screamed into the top corner, 1-0.
Heimir Hallgrimsson’s charges did not take long to respond as Alfred Finnbogason made it 1-1 barely five minutes later with a low shot inside the box after Argentina failed to clear their lines.
Jorge Sampaoli’s troops had the lion’s share of possession after half-an-hour but were not posing any real threat in the last third.
Iceland were a real threat when they had a chance to go forward with long balls and Gylfi Sigurdsson had two opportunities in the closing minutes of the half to grab the lead for the Islanders but it ended 1-1 at the halftime break.
The Icelandic nation were protecting their penalty box really well ten minutes into the second stanza, not allowing Argentina any room to take shots at goal.
La Albiceleste were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute. Messi stepped up but Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson made the save to deny the Argentinian icon his first goal of the tournament.
Messi had a chance to get the winner for Sampaoli’s men ten minutes before time with a curling strike from just outside the box but guided his effort slightly wide.
Iceland could hardly get out of their own half with five minutes to go and were desperately defending for their lives.
Messi nearly snatched the winner for Argentina with a fierce right-footed strike inside the box in stoppage time but his effort flew over the bar and both sides had to settle for the share of spoils.