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World Cup first-timers Iceland hold Argentina to draw as Messi has penalty saved

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World Cup first-timers Iceland hold Argentina to draw as Messi has penalty saved

World Cup first-timers Iceland hold Argentina to draw as Messi has penalty saved
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Iceland has held two-time World Cup winners Argentina to a draw after Lionel Messi missed a second-half penalty.

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero put Argentina ahead in the first half after capitalising on a loose ball in the box to power home a clinical finish.

But Iceland's Alfreo Finnbogason fired home from close range just minutes later after Argentina failed to clear a cross.

The match finished 1-1 after Messi's spot kick was saved.

Five takeaways from Argentina vs Iceland

Messi missing

The Lionel Messi that many know and expected to see in the game against Iceland wasn't really there. Although there were some flashes of the player he can be, he struggled to make an impact, as did his teammates.

Messi was up against a lack of space and Iceland contained him well — each time he got the ball in any sort of dangerous situation, he was swarmed. Perhaps the biggest moment of the game was his penalty miss.

The star missed out on the chance to give Argentina a 2-1 lead, which may have cost his team the three points. Compared to Cristiano Ronaldo's performance against Spain, Messi was well below par.

Argentina's performance

It wasn't just Messi who was below par, the entire Argentinian team struggled to break down what was, admittedly, a good Iceland side.

Some consider Argentina as possible World Cup winners but, following that performance, there will be few who believe that. They lacked any cutting edge and, defensively, they looked very susceptible — the Iceland goal highlighted their frailties as they failed to clear the ball and a scramble led to a tap-in for Iceland.

World Cup firsts

It was a game full of historic moments: Sergio Aguero scored his first goal in a World Cup tournament, as did Alfred Finnbogason. The Iceland player's goal will also go down in history as the country's first ever goal at a World Cup — a truly special moment.

In addition to this, this was also the first point Iceland has ever got at a World Cup, and they managed all of this against Argentina.

Iceland's Performance

If people hadn't noticed Iceland before, then they have now. They played well and their defending was exemplary and by taking a well-deserved point against Argentina, Iceland has truly announced themselves on the world stage.

Looking forward, teams will have to take Iceland far more seriously if they weren't already.

The 'Thunder Clap

Perhaps the most famous thing about the Icelandic national team is their supporters' "thunderclap". The Viking-style clap is truly something to behold and creates an amazing atmosphere in and around stadiums where the team is playing. When Iceland play again, be sure to keep an ear out for the almighty clap and the drum that leads it.