World Cup 2018 : Argentina vs. Iceland Live Score and Updates
1’: Kickoff in Moscow!
Argentina is in black and Iceland in white. A first ever World Cup for tiny Iceland. And is this the start of (finally) Messi’s World Cup? Or will it be another disappointment?
3’: Caballero Starts for Argentina (Not for Chelsea)
Between the sticks for Argentina is Willy Caballero, who sits on the bench for Chelsea. But here he’s starting for a World Cup contender. (Chelsea’s starter, Thibaut Courtois, is the starter for Belgium here.)
4 mins – Argentina 0 Iceland 0
Decent ball from Messi but there isn't enough pace on it. Otamendi gets up to flick towards goal but he tries such a fine glance that he misses it completely, and it bounces harmlessly wide of Halldorsson's goal.
5’: Free Kick for Messi
It’s from 40 yards plus, but still. Free kick for Messi! He ships it into the box where it rolls free, worryingly for Iceland, but is eventually cleared.
9 mins – Argentina 0 Iceland 0
Not long, is the answer. Messi swings another free-kick towards goal – this time an in-swinger. But he mis-hits and his cross is low, Tagliafico stoops and uses the pace of the ball to flick at goal but it goes wide.
Argentina vs. Iceland Top Story Lines
• Iceland Lineup
6 R Sigurdsson
7 Berg Gudmundsson
10 G Sigurdsson
11 Di María
• Heimir Hallgrimsson is a laid-back leader and sometime dentist who sees success for Iceland’s national team as a continuing journey unconnected to its 2018 World Cup finish.
• The greatest player in the world (sorry, Ronaldo fans) is Lionel Messi. But the naysayers who love Pele and Maradona still like to point out that he needs a World Cup to claim G.O.A.T. status. He is 30 years old now, and this may be his last chance to play in the big event in his prime.
• Messi has plenty of talented company, including Sergio Aguero, the Manchester City striker who loves to score, Paulo Dybala and Angel di Maria. So the talent to lift the Cup is there, but can it mesh together? Argentina placed only third in South American qualifying, with a 7-4-7 record.
• Iceland, population 350,000, is the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup. But it proved in the European Championship two years ago that it could play with the top sides, defeating England in the round of 16. The result was hardly a fluke, as Iceland followed it by finishing ahead of Croatia, Ukraine and Turkey in its World Cup qualifying group.
• European teams have taken notice of Iceland’s skills and its players have taken up residence at top clubs in England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey and Russia.
• In a statement that may come back to haunt him, midfielder Johann Berg Gudmundsson of Iceland said, “We kept Ronaldo quite quiet, so hopefully we can do the same against Messi.”