World Cup 2018: 3 things that went right for Iceland against Argentina
Argentina kicked off their World Cup 2018 campaign against Iceland in Group D's first match. Argentina, one of the favorites to win the World Cup boasts of arguably the best player in world football, Lionel Messi.
Possessing a star-studded attack overflowing with talent, Argentina would have hoped to smash the Icelanders, the smallest nation at the World Cup, making their debut in the competition.
All eyes were on Leo Messi after Cristiano Ronaldo scored a breath-taking hat-trick against Spain the previous night.
The match was a close affair with Argentina attacking as expected, and Iceland strongly holding their line against the continuous wave of Argentine attack.
Argentina grabbed an early lead with a stunning finish from Sergio Aguero in the 19th minute, which was immediately cancelled out with a neat finish from Icelandic forward Finnbogason in the 23rd minute.
Messi continuously dribbled past Iceland's defenders as he made 10 attempts in the match, but a strong Icelandic defense ensured the match ended in a stalemate.
He also missed a penalty in the 64th minute as his terrible performances for Argentina continued. The match ended in a disappointing result for Argentina as Iceland pulled off the unthinkable.
Argentina's attack looked jaded excluding the hardworking Messi, as they couldn't find a winner despite having 78 percent possession of the ball and making 27 attempts on goal. Let's take a look at 3 things that went right for underdogs Iceland against Argentina.
#1 Messi's terrible performances for Argentina continued
Argentina captain Lionel Messi was by far the stand-out performer in a disappointing Argentine attack, he made 10 attempts on goal which also featured a penalty miss. All eyes were on arguably the best footballer of our generation as his rival Cristiano Ronaldo scored a spectacular hat-trick against Spain.
The little magician's curse for Argentina continued as he couldn't convert a mere penalty after losing all hope of scoring from open-play. You could say he tried his best with all the attempts he made in the match, but nothing less than a goal is expected from a player of Messi's calibre.
Lionel Messi will need to improve his game and rise up to the occasion on football's grandest stage as his nation looks upon him to provide the crucial match-winning moments.
Their next match is a must win for Argentina as they face fellow group favorites Croatia. Messi will need to perform in this game if he is to guide his team to the latter stages of the tournament and avoid a massive upset in the early stages.