Argentina vs Iceland (line ups, venue, time)

Argentina vs Iceland (line ups, venue, time)

Argentina vs Iceland (line ups, venue, time)

Lionel Messi had a penalty saved as Argentina were held to a 1-1 draw by Iceland in their World Cup opener.

Lionel Messi and his mighty Argentina were humbled by Iceland in one of the biggest shocks of this or any other World Cup.

Messi failed to give his team the lead when his 64th-minute penalty was stopped by Hannes Halldorsson.

"I did some homework because I knew this was a situation that could come up". A long ball is played over the top for Finnbogason who lashes a shot over from a tight angle after getting behind Rojo. "I studied Messi. I tried to get inside his head, I had a feeling he could go that way". I feel responsible for not being able to take the three points.

The resilient islanders showed their iron will once again, coming back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with an Argentina side led by Lionel Messi and teeming with household names. "I think when you play a game like this and it's high-tempo, it's hard to shut everything down", Gunnarsson explained.

Messi has carried the team through qualifying so far, despite Argentina only scoring 19 times in their 18 last matches. The two-time World Cup and 2014 runners-up Argentina are prepping up to take part in their 17th finals appearance, while Iceland - the smallest nation of all 32 countries in terms of population with just under 335,000 locals - are making their first World Cup appearance in Russian Federation.

They joined the Argentina fans in creating an electric atmosphere at Spartak Stadium, which is the early frontrunner for the World Cup's most pulsating venue. Ronaldo the previous night had scored a penalty; Messi missed his.

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Striker Antoine Griezmann lashed home the historic spot kick in the 58th minute but Australia hit back with a penalty of their own when Samuel Umtiti inexplicably handled the ball in the box four minutes later.

"We were playing against one of the best teams in the world, against one of the best players in the world", said Halldorsson, who also stopped a risky Cristian Pavon curler near the end and was named man of the match. The first two caused Iceland all kinds of problems but if Messi is only causing danger from set pieces, you're doing a good job of shutting him out. Messi curled a shot just wide in the 81st minute, before having another, similar effort blocked in the box three minutes later, but there would be no victor, for Messi or anyone else.

Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson promised that more is to come.

Remember, Though Iceland played their hearts out today, Argentina should have brushed them off today considering the firepower they have amongst their ranks.

In addition to saving a spot-kick from a five-time Ballon d'Or victor, Halldorsson also made six crucial saves as Iceland earned an unlikely point.

The keeper also produced a late save to keep out an attempt from substitute Cristian Pavon as Iceland - who also drew 1-1 with eventual victor Portugal in its Euro 2016 opener - held on to clinch another famous result in their footballing history. Messi unleashed a shot towards the goalkeeper's right but it was weak and at a saveable height and Halldorsson guessed it right and denied the best player in the world perhaps to add another feather to Iceland's cap.

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