Heartbreak as Messi misses penalty, Argentina held by Iceland

Sergio Aguero gave the South Americans the lead in the 19th minute with a brilliant finish on the turn from 12 metres.

Argentina's forward Lionel Messi reacts at the end of the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Argentina and Iceland at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on June 16, 2018. Picture: AFP

MOSCOW – Argentina captain Lionel Messi missed a second-half penalty as his side were held to a 1-1 draw by World Cup debutants Iceland in Group D on Saturday.

Sergio Aguero gave the South Americans the lead in the 19th minute with a brilliant finish on the turn from 12 metres.

But Iceland, the smallest-ever country by population to qualify for the World Cup, equalised four minutes later when Alfred Finnbogason swept home a loose ball from close range.

Argentina were awarded a penalty in the 64th minute for a push in the back on Aguero by Hordur Bjorgvin Magnusson but Messi’s weak effort from the spot was saved by goalkeeper Hannes Por Halldorsson.