Argentina vs Iceland
FIFA World Cup 2018 – Group D
Date: Saturday, 16 June 2018
Kick-Off at 14:00 UK / 15:00 CET
Venue: Otkrytiye Arena, Moscow.
Argentina are hoping to get their WC campaign off to a victorious start before the second-round tie with Croatia.
Iceland have been very easy to break down in the last couple of months. The Nordic country conceded as many as 11 goals during the thread of three defeats and a draw in last four friendly internationals (against Mexico, Peru, Norway and Ghana).
The World Cup in Russia might likely be the last opportunity for Lionel Messi to lead his national team to the silverware and delete the lone remaining criticism of his legacy. The Barcelona superstar was millimeters away from making it count four years ago in Brazil when Gonzalo Higuain’s inability to convert golden opportunities combined with Mario Gotze’s extra-time winner left La Albiceleste faithful in tears.
Argentina will have no easy opponent in the likes of Iceland in their opening game of the tournament. The smallest nation to have qualified for the competition continued to live the fairy-tale after making it to the quarter-final of the EURO 2016 in France.
Iceland’s progress and appearance on the football began back in 2011 when Heimir Hallgrimsson and Lars Lagerback took charge. They wrote one of the most beautiful stories two years ago and they have full right to hope for the best this summer in Russia with the same group of players on disposal.
Argentina has appeared in five World Cup finals, including the first final in 1930 , which they lost 4–2 to Uruguay .
Argentina won in their next final appearance in 1978 , beating the
Netherlands at extra time, 3–1. Argentina, led by Diego Maradona won again in 1986 , a 3–2 victory over West Germany.
They again made the World Cup finals in 1990 , and lost 1–0 to West Germany following a controversial penalty call in the 87th minute.
Iceland became the smallest nation by population to ever clinch a FIFA World Cup berth when they qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on 9 October 2017.