A first half which saw Argentina dominate possession (nearly five times the amount of passes as Iceland had) but despite those numbers, both goals came in the first half. The first big chance of the match fell to Iceland after a defensive mistake but Argentina were let off the hook.
All eyes were on Lionel MESSI who was tightly marked by three Icelandic players meant that Marcos ROJO was allowed to roam forward and drive in a strong pass into Sergio AGUERO. The ball landed on AGUERO’s feet who did very well to hold off his marker, span around and struck a rocket of a shot into the top corner to give Argentina a 1-0 lead. That goal was AGUERO’s first at a FIFA World Cup.
Jorge SAMPAOLI’s men continued to have possession of the ball and moved it around but it was another defensive mistake by the back line which allowed Iceland back into the match. Willy CABALLERO was unable to hang on to the ball as a cross was sent into the area and the defense stood standing still as Iceland drew level.
The second half started the same way the first one did, that is to say with Argentina in control of the ball. A cross sent into the area by MESSI saw Maxi MEZA get fouled and the Albiceleste were awarded a penalty. Lionel MESSI took it but had his shot saved by the goalkeeper.
11 – Lionel Messi attempted 11 shots for Argentina vs Iceland (the most he’s ever attempted in a World Cup game), but he still didn’t manage to score a goal. Frustration.#ARGISL #ARG #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/YDZBP9aowj
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 16, 2018
Ever BANEGA, Cristian PAVON and Gonzalo HIGUAIN came in to try and help SAMPAOLI’s team in getting the three points but it wasn’t happening. Iceland held on to a 1-1 draw and Argentina are not in an easy position heading into the second match.