Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli defended star player Lionel Messi after he missed a penalty in their 1-1 draw with Iceland.
Messi’s spot-kick, saved by Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson, summed up his team’s afternoon against the tournament’s least-populated country.
Although Argentina took an early lead through Sergio Aguero, Alfred Finnbogason equalised for Iceland and the World Cup debutants stood firm against everything thrown their way – including Messi’s second-half penalty.
“It was an awkward game because Iceland played in their own half, blocking Messi’s outlets,” Sampaoli said.
“He kept looking and he wanted Argentina to win, whatever the analysis of any performance says. I am happy because I know that Leo’s commitment to getting us into the next round is still there.”