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World Cup 2018: Argentina 1-1 Iceland; 3 key battles that decided the game

Shyam Kamal
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.27K   //    16 Jun 2018, 22:01 IST

Argentina v Iceland: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
An uncharacteristically disappointing game from the little magician

Argentina huffed and puffed for 90 minutes, but there is not a lot you can do when the winds of destiny are not in your favor. In the end, the runners-up of the last WC could only manage a miserable draw against Iceland, throwing the group-wide.

Aguero's first World Cup goal was nullified by Iceland's first ever WC goal courtesy Finnbogason, as the match went into half-time at 1-1 with Argentina being the dominant side.

The same was repeated in the second half, but Lionel Messi missed a crucial penalty that would have sealed all three points for the Group favourites.

As always, there were a few individual battles that went a long way in deciding the final outcome of the match. Here's a look at 3 of them:


#1 Lionel Messi vs Gylfi Sigurdsson

In the battle of the No.10s, it was Sigurdsson who unexpectedly came out on top. It was an unusually bad day for Messi as a whole, who had several close chances to score, and the penalty miss was just the rotten cherry on top of an expired cake.

After watching Ronaldo being all pumped up yesterday, Messi was the complete opposite of it here. He ran slower than he usually does, his passes were a little less zingy, and even the penalty was average at best, and borderline awful.

Sigurdsson, on the other hand, lived up to his and Iceland's reputation. The goal came off a Sigurdsson cross as well, the rebound falling very so kindly to Finnbogason who was in no mood to miss.

Other than that, Gylfi was much more involved in the game with him being the anchor around which the rest of the team revolved. It was the same for Messi too, but without the same level of impact.

Messi had two shots at the end go very, very close but Argentina doesn't care as long as it isn't inside the back of the net.


Messi vs Sigurdsson - stats
Messi vs Sigurdsson - stats

Is it a question of rest? Or is he metaphorically tired of carrying Argentina for too long? As questions loom, Argentine fans will be hoping that Messi has gotten everything bad out of his system and will show up for the next games with more intent.

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