Lionel Messi missed a penalty as two-time winners Argentina were held to a 1-1 draw by debutants Iceland in their Group D fixture at the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow on Saturday.
As expected, it was the South Americans who dominated the opening exchanges as they moved the ball around, while Iceland were tight and compact at the back.
Despite early domination, Argentina were lucky not to concede in the 10th minute.
The Albiceleste failed to clear their lines and the rolled to the path of an onrushing Birkir Bjarnason who
skewed his shot just wide of Willy Caballero’s post with the keeper looking beaten.
Jorge Sampaoli’s men however took the lead 10 minutes later through Sergio Aguero.
Marcos Rojo drove a shot towards goal which was brought under control by Aguero with his back at goal. After some neat footwork, the striker turned and smashed home a wonderful effort for his first World Cup goal.
The lead lasted only four minutes with Alfred Finnbogason netting the equaliser, his country’s first-ever World Cup goal.
Gyfil Sigurdsson lashed a powerful cross into the middle which Caballero could only parry into the path of Finnbogason who wasted no time in firing the ball into net.
Argentina had an appeal for a penalty waved off three minutes from the break when the ball hit Sigurdsson’s arm in the box.
Iceland stood firm despite early pressure from Argentina after the break with Ever Banega replacing Lucas Biglia in the 53rd minute in a bid to add more potency to the attack.
Messi missed from the spot in the 64th minute with Hannes Halldorsson saving his effort.
Substitute Cristian Pavon nearly scored the winner for Argentina four minutes from time but his curling effort was saved by Halldorsson.