Argentina vs Iceland, Live Scorecard, Updates, Goals and Latest Match Stats Online
Jun 16 2018 by Johnnie Parsons
Interestingly, should Argentina reach the final again Messi could become his counties all-time leading appearance maker at a World Cup, edging out a certain Diego Maradona for the honour.
Argentina were dominating possession in the early stages but could not really break down the compact Iceland defence.
However, it still took an excellent save from Hannes Halldorsson to keep out Messi's 64th-minute penalty, the first time the Barcelona playmaker had ever missed a spot-kick for his country.
"For me as a goalkeeper to play for Iceland and face the best player in the world at a penalty is a big moment and a dream come true to save it, especially as it helped us get a big point which I hope is going to prove important to us", he said.
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Any way you slice it, it wasn't Messi's finest showing, but it was also the first game of the tournament. The match is scheduled for 4pm local time.
Without him they were beaten 6-1 in a friendly against Spain in March and they have only played once since, beating Haiti 4-0, with Messi scoring another treble. Especially after Cristiano Ronaldo's scintillating performance last night at Sochi, the comparisons and trolling have gone notches up for Messi. "It's unfair to give one player the role of marking Messi".
Argentina's forward Lionel Messi reacts at the end of the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Argentina and Iceland at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on June 16, 2018.
Lionel Messi misses a second-half penalty as Argentina are held to a 1-1 draw against Iceland in Group D of the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.
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.
At the end, Messi retreated alone into the center circle with his head bowed and hands on his knees. For Iceland, the humbling of a soccer superpower. The Barcelona superstar was millimeters away from making it count four years ago in Brazil when Gonzalo Higuain's inability to convert golden opportunities combined with Mario Gotze's extra-time victor left La Albiceleste faithful in tears.