Even in the wildest dreams, Argentina wouldn’t have thought of drawing a game against Iceland that was playing their 1st major tournament in football history. Argentina, led by Lionel Messi, one of the greatest of the game at the moment failed pitifully against Iceland who were considered a weakling since the start of the contest.
No one would have expected an experienced unit like Argentina to level up the scores against the debutants of the tournament. It was Sergio Aguero who drew the first blood by scoring a goal in favor of Argentina and just a couple of minutes later, the Icelanders managed to give a fitting reply to the 2014 World Cup finalists by scoring a smacking mouth-shutting goal, courtesy Alfred Finnbogason.
Clearly, the La Albiceleste made some horrendous mistakes that cost them their game which was considered as a walk in the park for the runners-up of the 2014 World Cup contest.
Let’s look at the 3 mistakes that snatched away the game from Argentina
Messi’s unforgettable penalty shoot
Lionel Messi probably had a nightmare on the field when he failed to score a penalty for the 3rd time in the national jersey against Iceland. After Ronaldo’s swashbuckling performance against Spain, all eyes were on the Argentinian superstar to emulate a similar performance in their game against an underdog unit like Iceland.
Messi looked like a man in possession to take the game in Argentina’s favor from the first moment itself, but it seems destiny had some other plans for La Albiceleste superstar. He took 11 shots in the game out of which only 3 were on target, which unluckily got saved from Iceland’s goalkeeper.
But what really shattered millions of hopes during the game, was when Messi who is considered as the man for all occasions missed a match-turning penalty in the 64th minute. They missed out on the biggest opportunity to turn the game in their favor only to level up their tally with the minnow Icelanders.
Paulo Dybala’s absence
Looks like Argentian manager Jorge Samapoli’s decision of benching Paulo Dybala and taking in Maximiliano Meza backfired on their part. Though Meza didn’t put a dismal show, still, the impact that Paulo could have given was nowhere on the show.
Dybala ha scored 26 goals in all the competitions in the past season and his presence could have been the fuel the team needed while playing against the minnows.
Argentina completely lacked the touch in their game. The 24-year-old Juventus Star would have found some opportunities to pierce through Iceland’s defence, something Argentina failed to create on many occasions throughout the game.
Perhaps their manager Sampaoli would think of bringing in him for the next games alongside the likes of the legend Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero.
Failed to rip apart Iceland’s defence
The La Albiceleste missed out on 3 golden opportunities that could have turned the fate of the game. In a World cup campaign, the players must think of striking from the first instant, irrespective of the team you are competing against and not to have any loose ends till the end.
For a team like Argentina, which possesses such attacking potential, no one would have expected them to put up such a dismal performance. With just 1 shot out of collective 27 shots, they probably crushed their chances of an easy win against a side that was playing their first major tournament.
Out of those 27 shots, only 1 managed to reach the nets, while 6 got saved by the efforts of Iceland’s keeper. The remaining 20 hardly made any impact in the game. Their opportunities were turned to dust by Iceland’s defences.
Jorge Sampaoli would surely have a terrible night, following their team’s loss against the so-called underdogs of the tournament.