Sergio Aguero scored in the 19th minute while Alfred Finnbogason equalized just four minutes later.
Argentina put in a poor display, as World Cup debutants Iceland tactically outplayed them in a two-goal encounter. Talisman Lionel Messi didn’t have a single shot on target from 10 ten attempts. Gylfi Sigurðsson and goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson put in a good display for the minnows.
In this article, we are going to talk about the five talking points from the FIFA World Cup match.
Watch: Argentina 1-1 Iceland highlights
5. Javier Mascherano and Lucas Biglia can’t provide the mobility or creativity to link-up with Lionel Messi
Although Argentina had a major portion of the possession, defensive midfielders Javier Mascherano and Lucas Biglia couldn’t link-up with Messi. Both of them were outplayed by Iceland’s midfielders in the middle of the park.
Jorge Sampaoli might start Ever Banega in the next game in place of either of them, as creativity seemed to be lacking in the game.
4. Iceland were tactically brilliant, solid and kept their nerves till the end
With all honestly, the Nordic nation was tactically brilliant in the way they defended in their half with Argentina having the majority of the possession.
The team kept Messi at bay. Whenever he received the ball, at least three Iceland players were around him to keep a check.
3. Jorge Sampaoli might have to pick Paulo Dybala and Roma’s Federico Fazio for the next game
The former Chile coach shocked us all by keeping Fazio on the bench; Dybala’s exclusion was expected. The Roma center-back is in form and is the team’s best defender currently after Nicolas Otamendi. Although, Marcos Rojo has proved his spurs for Argentina, he has missed a lot of games this season with Manchester United and did look shaky at times.
Sampaoli might need to give Dybala a chance if Argentina fare the same way in the next match. With Messi’s powers subdued throughout the game, the two-time champions seemed to be out of ideas. Maybe, Dybala can add that “needed flair and vision” when Messi goes absent.
2. Lionel Messi needs to bring his ‘A-Game’ from the next match onwards
The Barcelona star couldn’t register a single shot on target. Most of his free-kicks crashed into the wall. Whenever he received the ball, he was surrounded by at least three opposition players, with no teammate to link-up with. To top it all, he missed a penalty too, making it his third missed spot-kick for Argentina.
There is also the question of whether the forward should continue to take spot-kicks. Infact, they seem to be the only chink in his armour and he has missed four of his last seven for club and country.
Argentina’s results depends on Lionel Messi. If they want to qualify for the next round, they need their skipper to be at his imperial best.
1. Iceland need to win at least one more game to progress further
The surprise package from Euro 2016 need to win just one more game at least to qualify for the knockout stages.
The way they performed today, it seems pretty probable that they will shock us all by qualifying for the Round Of 16.
Argentina will play their next Group D match against Croatia. Meanwhile, Iceland will play Nigeria.