Messis penalty miss not to blame for draw with Iceland: Maradona

A Nigerian fan carries a live chicken

A Nigerian fan carries a live chicken

Yet they actually created few clear chances either side of the poorly-struck 64th-minute penalty by Messi, who drew a blank despite a remarkable 11 shots during the match.

Croatia took the early initiative in Group D as they saw off Nigeria 2-0 in their World Cup opener at the Kaliningrad Stadium.

Midfielder Christian Cueva missed a penalty for Los Incas to compound their misery. "This will lift us to continue our journey", Real Madrid midfielder Modric said at a post-match press conference. "It would have changed their game plan, too. Maybe against the favourites in our group. but they will have to play for a win because of the scoreline today (Saturday) that they never expected".

But his 63rd-minute spot kick was saved by Hannes Halldorsson and he struggled to break down a well-organised Iceland defence.

"I did my homework".

According to Don Balon, a Spanish outlet famous for its outlandish claims, Neymar laughed at Messi for his penalty miss.

Messi looks dejected at the final whistle. It summed up the entire second half of resolute hard work by Iceland.

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"The circumstances around the missed penalty and that led to Leo's mistake, that's just another statistic, it's part of the past. football is like that". Apart from Iceland, he plays for Danish club Randers FC.

"The two who are above all others right now are Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi", he said. One of those points was an own goal by the Nigerian side.

Aguero then scored in the 19th minute.

He continued, explaining that the people of Argentina shouldn't expect Messi to do what Maradona did. While speaking at the pre-match news conference, he also stated the superstar forward shouldn't feel he is under pressure to win against Russian Federation.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has scored his first goal at a World Cup as Argentina took the lead before Alfred Finnbogason equalised from close-range.

Argentina fans booed and whistled when the giant stadium screen showed Halldorsson was named man of the match.

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