Iceland’s draw against Argentina in World Cup debut feels more like victory

Argentina Coach Sampaoli Frustrated With Draw Versus Iceland

World Cup 2018: How to Watch Argentina vs Iceland

Argentina's opening match at Russian Federation 2018 ended in a 1-1 draw in Moscow after Alfred Finnbogason's historic goal cancelled out Sergio Aguero's opener in Saturday's Group D meeting.

"In the Argentina against Iceland game we saw just how much Messi needed the warm up game against Israel", Liberman tweeted after 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.

France became the first team to win a Video Assistant Referee decision in World Cup play in a 2-1 win over Australia in the opener for both teams Saturday in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia.

Yet they actually created few clear chances either side of the poorly-struck 64th-minute penalty by Messi, who drew a blank despite a remarkable 11 shots during the match. But Messi's shot was saved by Hannes Halldorsson, who had a strong game.

After falling behind, 1-0, early in the match, Iceland kept its composure and responded soon after, with Alfred Finnbogason scoring his country's first ever World Cup goal to tie the game.

Messi was gifted the chance to put Argentina in front for the second time in Moscow.

Arguably the greatest player of all time against the smallest country to play at a World Cup, what could possibly go wrong?

In the 64 minute, Lionel Messi stepped up to take a spot kick and in an all too familiar scene, he missed!

But they only qualified for Russian Federation thanks to a win in their final qualifier against Ecuador and scored 19 goals in 18 games, the lowest by any South American qualifier since the single-group format was adopted in the mid-1990s.

Messi and Argentina still have games against Nigeria and Croatia to turn things around, but they'll be gutted that they missed out on victory today.

"We don't have to go insane".

The goal was followed shortly after by one of those darting Messi runs through the middle of the pitch, bouncing the ball of his teammates as he goes, and, with a stadium dominated by Argentina fans, it seemed Sampaoli's side might begin to start adding some real incision to go along with all the possession.

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli dismissed his star player's penalty set-back as a "statistic" and praised his attitude in a hard game.

Iceland's next opponents are Nigeria in Volgograd on Friday.

"He's a player who is very skilled so I don't think he's under pressure, he shouldn't be under pressure, he is a player who makes people very happy with his game".

Iceland were aggressive and combative from the first minute and offered a threat on the break against Argentina's vulnerable back line.

Heimir Hallgrimsson's gameplan centred around using his team's dynamism to exploit Argentina's porous backline on the counter-attack and the favourites' sloppiness led to several openings, particularly in the first period.

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