Iceland score and save a penalty in their first ever World Cup match as they hold Argentina to 1-1

Lionel Messi's FIFA World Cup struggles continued as his penalty miss meant Argentina failed to kick off their tournament with a win over Iceland and could only manage a draw against the minnows.

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Diego Maradona was an onlooker as Argentina opened their World Cup against Iceland.

The national hero sent the thousands of Argentina fans at the Spartak Stadium into raptures when he appeared in the stand just prior to kick-off.

Credit: PA

On the field, his successor as the carrier of Argentina's hopes, Lionel Messi, was in the spotlight as he led out the team, expected to respond to old foe Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick on Friday.

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A lively first half ended with the sides level at the break.

After Birkir Bjarnason missed an early chance to put Iceland ahead, Sergio Aguero scored his first World Cup goal to put Argentina in front.

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However, the floodgates did not open as Alfred Finnbogason levelled inside four minutes.

With the score still locked at 1-1, Argentina talisman Lionel Messi had a penalty saved.

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It was relief for Iceland defender Hordur Magnusson, whose clumsy challenge saw Iceland concede the spot-kick.

However, goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson threw himself to his right to deny the diminutive Barcelona forward, despite Messi getting a great deal of power onto the strike.

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Iceland held firm and did not concede again to claim another memorable result as they drew 1-1 against Argentina.

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Messi had the chance to score the winner with a free-kick from a dangerous position deep into stoppage time but he struck it directly at the Icelandic wall.

Hannes saves Messi's penalty Credit: PA