Messi misses PK as Argentina draws Iceland

Diego Maradona

The two-time champions arrived in Russian Federation dogged by poor form, injuries and controversy.

Messi is playing in his fourth World Cup and came close to the title in 2014.

Scoring goals will be the issue for Gernot Rohr's side, as while they netted 12 in six in their final qualifying group, their opponents consisted of Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria.

Messi's first World Cup goal came in the 2006 tournament in Germany in his first career World Cup match.

Bearing all this in mind, Messi has proven before how he can play under pressure so we still expect Argentina to win the game. He famously (and briefly) retired from worldwide football after missing when Argentina fell to Chile in the 2016 Copa America final.

Ahmed Tibi, an Arab Israeli lawmaker, also linked the miss to the withdrawal from the Israel game, tweeting a poll asking, "Who was happier that Messi missed his penalty today?"


But what makes Iceland hard to beat isn't just its tactical schemes, it's that the Nordic nation has the ability to stay locked in and mistake-free for entire games. "It could have given us the lead and that could have changed the match", Messi said. Croatia top the group after beating Nigeria.

Argentina team to face Iceland: Willy Caballero, Eduardo Salvio, Nicolas Otamendi, Marcos Rojo, Nicolas Tagliafico, Lucas Biglia, Javier Mascherano, Maximiliano Meza, Lionel Messi, Angel di Maria, Sergio Aguero. "We tried to find spaces in Iceland's defence but he couldn't find them", Messi told reporters in the mixed zone following the match with Iceland. We all remember the 2002 shock result as Senegal beat Les Bleus in the opening game of the tournament.

Messi had a final chance to redeem his team with the final kick of the game, but his free kick from 25 yards failed to clear a solid defensive wall.

Subsequent friendlies have given cause for concern - there was a 4-2 loss to Nigeria in November and a 6-1 humiliation by Spain in March, although Messi did not play in either match.

The day's action also pits another scrappy underdog against one of the favourites in Group C when Australia play France in Kazan, with Peru facing Denmark in the group's other game.

If Messi's Argentina are to overcome poor form and injury woes, the five-time world player of the year needs high-profile teammates such as Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain to fire. "So if you have a player like Leo, you organise the team differently". "This is going to be his team".

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