Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland | 16 Jun 2018

Argentina were held to a draw by World Cup debutants Iceland Saturday (Jun 16), with Lionel Messi blowing a gilt-edged opportunity for victory when he missed a penalty.

Sergio Aguero had fired the beaten finalists from four years ago ahead in the 19th minute, finally breaking his World Cup duck at the ninth attempt with a rising left-footed drive. Iceland very much defines itself through teamwork and as being a closed knit group. Iceland is coached by Heimir Hallgrímsson, who gave up being a dentist to join the team full-time after their success at Euro 2016.

Iceland's first appearance at a World Cup also includes games against Nigeria in Volgograd on 22 June and a match against Croatia in Rostov-on-Don on 26 June. No surprises really, Leo Messi starts for Argentina and is joined by a host of stars including Angel Di Maria. This has been a frustrating evening for the forward.

How often do you see Lionel Messi miss a penalty?

A couple of minutes later, Argentina came closer when Nicolas Tagliafico sent in a flicked header that curled just past the far post. The game's tempo has slowed down considerably.

7 MINS: Iceland skipper Aron Gunnarsson drags Messi to the ground with a rugby tackle to show that is the only way they know how to stop him. The Scandinavian side got the ball wide, before playing in a couple of crosses Argentina failed to deal with.

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They'll have a specific game plan for nullifying Argentina's many, many talented attackers, and I imagine that will largely involve sitting back and allowing their opponents to dominate the ball. Things have not yet worked out that way, though, and the same questions about misusing the power at their disposal remain. Argentina looking likelier to score at this point.

Lionel Messi's Argentina will underestimate Iceland at their peril, coach Heimir Hallgrimsson warned on Friday, saying the minnows are ready to spring another surprise in Russian Federation. They had a bad time in qualifying, and are really shaky at the back.

Even though Argentina had the lion's share of possession, they didn't do enough to earn a victory. The key will be to create space against a solid Icelandic defence.

Starting with both Javier Mascherano and Lucas Biglia was too negative and the narrow 4-2-3-1 formation did not get the best out of those he selected; least of all Messi, who looked shackled and frustrated in the middle of the pitch throughout. The fact that players like Gonzalo Higuain and Paolo Dybala are only making the bench today says a lot about their depth in the attacking department. "He has adapted a lot his game to what Argentina needs".

11 MINS: In a run reminiscent of Maradona at his finest, Messi glides and ghosts his way through a sea of Iceland players and sets up a chance for Sergio Aguero that results in a corner. In contrast, Argentina are two-time world champions and even made the finals a year ago.

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