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Ronaldo And Messi's Record Against Iceland Is Truly Ridiculous

17 June 2018

Stephanie Brantz caught up with Julien Laurens after France squeezed past Australia with a 2-1 win.

But the Barcelona ace's lackluster record on penalties continued, as he stepped up and fired a weak shot at the ideal height and velocity to gift Iceland keeper Hannes Halldorsson an easy save.

He revealed: 'I did some homework on his penalties as I knew it was a situation that could come up.

Right-back Eduardo Salvio has spent most of his career playing as a winger for Benfica and while playing wingers at full-back in a five-man defence has been a developing trend in recent seasons, the perils of doing it in a back-four were on display against Iceland. Messi, in fact, had an absolutely miserable afternoon.

As for Messi, he's held his hands up on the penalty miss and will focus on Argentina's remaining games. I looked at a lot of penalties from Messi, and I also looked how I had been behaving in the last couple of penalties, so I tried to get into their minds and imagine what they would be thinking about me.

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Argentina started out showing a considerable amount of patience, combined with sudden changes in tempo. Birkir Bjarnason had already sidefooted narrowly wide as a deflected cross scooted untended across the box, and the Alfred Finnbogason equalizer came after Argentina had three times failed to clear balls fired across the box. A long ball is played over the top for Finnbogason who lashes a shot over from a tight angle after getting behind Rojo.

No Iceland defender was at fault for failing to stop Aguero's goal. They were given multiple chances to clear and the ball would eventually fall to the feet of Augsburg's Alfred Finnbogason who duly finished to send the Icelandic hordes in Russian Federation and at home insane. The draw against Iceland justifies the group's status as the Group of Death and Argentina could well bow out in the preliminary stages if they don't act fast.

On Saturday though, Messi would go through that nightmare again, the only relief that can come out of it is that this was just the first match and not a final.

And with so many similarities between the games, it's only natural that Messi's reaction was going to be compared and although it's far from angelic, it cuts quite the difference.

Substitute Cristian Pavon almost scored the victor for Argentina four minutes from time but his curling effort was saved by Halldorsson.

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Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson returned from a knee injury in a friendly against Ghana last week.

Iceland sits deep and packs the center, and when there is no space it is very hard for anybody to play.

The day after Cristiano Ronaldo scored three times from three shots on target - including a penalty and a spectacular free kick - to salvage a point for Portugal against Spain, Messi's tally of 11 shots, only three on target, and no goals was curious.

Let's face it: This was an inauspicious start to the tournament for Messi and the Albiceleste. There's not much Messi will be able to do about the defense if those mistakes persist.

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Ronaldo And Messi's Record Against Iceland Is Truly Ridiculous