Lionel Messi’s bid for FIFA World Cup redemption begins on Saturday when he leads Argentina against tiny Iceland in a Group D match. If Messi’s Argentina are to overcome poor form and injury woes, the five-time world player of the year needs high-profile teammates such as Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain to fire. However, Iceland won’t be an easy side to begin their campaign against. They impressed many with their showing in the 2016 European Championships, a run that included an upset win over England. Get live score of Argentina vs Iceland, FIFA World Cup 2018 Group C match, here. (FULL FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 COVERAGE)
7:00 PM IST: 30 minutes gone and this has been a thrilling game to watch. Both sides look up for it and the match is evenly poised as of now.
6:57 PM IST: Argentina are pushing forward hard in search of another goal before the break. Their defending will be the main thing worrying coach Sampaoli though.
6:54 PM IST: GOAAAAL! Iceland are level! That’s some sloppy defending that sees Finnbogason level the game for the underdogs.
6:50 PM IST: GOAAAAL! Argentina get the breakthrough and it’s Sergio Aguero who FINALLY breaks his World Cup duck, unleashing a venomous shot from inside the box to put his side ahead.
6:48 PM IST: Messi’s shot from outside the box is punched out by the Iceland goalkeeper. Argentina looking likelier to score at this point.
6:45 PM IST: The game has settled into a nice rhythm now. Argentina are keeping the ball while Iceland are looking to defend and take their chances in a patient manner.
6:42 PM IST: Iceland now coming close on two occasions to finding the back of the net. Argentina look shaky at the back; the sooner they score, the better for them.
6:39 PM IST: Oh and Argentina come so close to scoring from a free-kick again! Tagliafico’s header goes agonisingly wide of the post after Lionel Messi’s delivery.
6:36 PM IST: Argentina win a free-kick out wide but it comes to nothing. They’ve seen the lion’s share of the ball thus far.
6:33 PM IST: Argentina starting the game by keeping possession. Not that Iceland will mind; their whole game plan involves seeing less of the ball as they favour defensive solidity.
6:30 PM IST: The referee blows his whistle and we are underway!
6:25 PM IST: The players have emerged from the tunnel. Lionel Messi definitely looks nervous.
6:20 PM IST: Argentina’s biggest strength today will be their attacking play. The fact that players like Gonzalo Higuain and Paolo Dybala are only making the bench today says a lot about their depth in the attacking department.
6:10 PM IST: Twenty minutes to go till kick-off, and here’s something for you to chew on till then: Ronaldo’s record of scoring in eight consecutive international tournaments isn’t a record at all. Click here to find out why.
6:00 PM IST: It’s worth noting that this Iceland team, aside from functioning very well as a unit, have some talented individuals like Gylfi Sigurdsson and Aron Gunnarsson. This won’t be an easy game for Argentina.
5:50 PM IST: Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli stunned a lot of people when he announced their starting Xi yesterday. Besides Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria will lead the Argentina attack.
5:45 PM IST: Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the FIFA World Cup Group B match between Argentina and Iceland!
Iceland, with a population of only 330,000, is the smallest nation ever to reach the World Cup. In contrast, Argentina are two-time world champions and even made the finals last year.
Iceland stunned the football world when they reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, beating Austria and England on the way and they will be eager to continue their improvement at international level.