Argentina 1-1 Iceland: Five things we learned

Looking up to a promising tournament

Looking up to a promising tournament

The script was laid out perfectly, Lionel Messi was over the ball, and he would surely score to give his side the win and further cement his legacy as the greatest of all time.

It was a contrast to long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, whose hat-trick in Portugal's 3-3 draw with Spain on Friday included a penalty and a free kick.

Iceland played defensive football and looked to thrive from set pieces, cancelling out Sergio Aguero's opener with a goal from Alfred Finnbogason. Both teams jockeyed for possessions, until halftime presided with both teams looking ahead carte blanche.

Messi has now missed four of the last seven penalties that he has taken for Argentina and Barcelona. The ref pointed to the spot and naturally Messi was decided amongst his teammates he was the worthy choice to play "God".

But the turning point came in the second half when Argentina were awarded a penalty after a foul on Maximiliano Meza, with Messi having his spot-kick saved to cap off a wretched performance.

Having managed to avoid relegation with his club team in May, Halldorsson dusted off his old camera before the Icelandic team travelled to Russian Federation and directed a mood-setting Coca-Cola commercial in Iceland to unite the nation and excite supporters for the country's first ever World Cup.

And finally, arguably the two best players in the world, Messi and Ronaldo will always play their personal battle even if the two players aren't really competing.

And afterwards the Hand of God took to his Instagram account to post a reminder that his Argentina side went on to reach the final in 1990 despite falling to a shock defeat to Cameroon in their opening game.

Incidentally, 34-year-old Halldorsson was also responsible for directing Coca Cola's Icelandic World Cup promo commercial. And what ended as a draw felt more like a victory for Iceland - and there is just more than one reason why everyone is cheering for the new football team.

Will we see the Iceland thunderclap in the knockout stages?

But Sampaoli said Argentina would regroup, beginning with their next match against Croatia in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday, and move on from the Iceland disappointment.

The South Americans are outright favourites to dominate the group along with probably Croatia, notwithstanding the dangers of Nigeria. On their World Cup debut, they frustrated Messi and Argentina - who took the lead, had a whopping 72% possession, and 9 shots on target out of 26 attempts.

A late free kick chance that was smacked straight into the Iceland wall, in contrast to Ronaldo's glorious strike, provided a rather ignominious bookend. "It was an uncomfortable match, because Iceland was playing very defensively, blocking all the possible spaces, but we did everything we could for Argentina to win". I had watched a lot of penalties from Messi and I had a good feeling he would go this way'.

But with trademark dark humor, the part-time coach and full-time dentist, conceded: "We wanted to use spaces behind them - but it's hard when you don't have the ball".

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