Messi penalty saved as dominant Argentina held by Iceland

Sampaoli denies underestimating Iceland after naming XI

Argentina captain, Lionel Messi, has admitted that if he had scored a second-half penalty, his side would have possibly defeated Iceland.

"It hurt missing the penalty".

Frustrated by an organized and disciplined opponent, Ronaldo sneered at Iceland's post-game celebrating by a team "not going to do anything in the competition".

Despite playing second fiddle to David de Gea at Old Trafford, Romero has been Argentina's first-choice stopper for the best part of a decade.

Nine minutes from the end, Messi curled a superb strike narrowly wide from the edge of the D, and Argentina threw Gonzalo Higuain into the fray as they pressed for a late victor.

Four minutes after Aguero's opener ripple their net, the Norsemen made the instant pressure count when Finnbogason swept home a loose ball from six yards out to score his country's first ever World Cup goal... Now they are up against Lionel Messi and it will be fascinating to see how they get on.

If anyone can relate to what Messi has to endure, it is Diego Maradona, the inspiration behind Argentina's 1986 World Cup triumph. "They probably would open a little bit more and we could get more space".

Messi said Iceland's tactic's made it hard for his side claiming "they did not want to play" but admitted that Heimir Hallgrimsson's team "closed well".

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Group D's other game between Nigeria and Croatia is to be played later on Saturday.

However, the Barcelona forward saw his effort smartly saved by Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson, which culminated in a share of the spoils come the final whistle in Moscow.

Iceland played its debut on soccer's biggest stage like it belonged alongside the 2014 runners-up.

Confirmed Iceland XI: Hannes Haldorsson; Kari Arnason, Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Hordur Bjorgvin Magnusson; Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Aron Gunnarsson, Emil Hallfredsson; Bikir Bjarnason, Alfred Finnbogason, Gylfi Sigurdsson. It was Aguero's alertness, seizing on a mishit Marcos Rojo shot, pivoting and lashing a shot past Halldorsson, that brought the first goal.

Argentina who were the favourites in Group D ahead of Croatia, Nigeria and Iceland will consider this an upset as they failed to snatch full points.

"I thought they'd won the Euros the way they celebrated at the end, it was unbelievable". At Iceland, we are fewer and most of us are really good close friends.

Not very classy, it must be said.

There were too many attempts to pass the ball through the eye of not just one needle but several at the edge of the box, even after Ever Banega had come on for Lucas Biglia and the shape had become more like the 2-3-3-2 Sampaoli had promised. Playing under a third different manager of their qualifying campaign, his hat-trick in their last group match against Ecuador was pretty much the only reason they made it to Russian Federation.


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