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World Cup LIVE: Argentina vs Iceland latests score and goals; Lionel Messi MISSED penalty

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Lionel Messi and Argentina get their 2018 World Cup campaign underway against Iceland. Follow the action LIVE with Unique Sports.
Iceland make their World Cup debut today when they face Argentina in Moscow.

They are one of two nations competing in the finals for the first time at Russia 2018, with the other being Panama, whose bow comes on Monday when they take on Belgium in Sochi.

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli took the surprising decision to reveal his starting line-up for his side’s World Cup Group D opener.

Lionel Messi says he does not know if this will be his last World Cup – but expects to have an answer by the end of the tournament.

ARGENTINA 1-1 ICELAND

FT: Messi’s free-kick strikes the wall and the referee blows his whistle. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but Iceland have held Argentina to a 1-1 draw in the World Cup.

95: Danger! Argentina have a free-kick right on the edge of the penalty area. Lionel Messi steps up…

94: That might be the last opportunity of the game. Otamendi catches Halldorsson off his line but tamely sends a cross/shot into his arms.

Argentina vs Iceland: Live World Cup score, goals and updates

92: Messi, Messi, still Messi… over! The Argentine jinks past a couple of defenders before firing over the bar.

90: Five minutes of stoppage time!

89: Finnbogason off, Sigurdarson on. This World Cup ha seen so many stoppage time goals already, will we see another?

87: We’ve just seen the save of the tournament from Halldorsson. He’s trying to judge Pavon’s dipping effort through a crowd of bodies and produces a cracking reflex save.

Mascherano then fires straight at the Iceland stopper. He’s easily getting the MOTM award.
85: Jorge Sampaoli doesn’t play by the rules folks. Another striker comes on as Gonzalo Higuain replies Meza. I can’t believe Argentina have Higuain, Messi, Dybala and Aguero and have only put one past Iceland.

82: Everyone expected the net to ripple as Lionel Messi curls one wide of the post from 20-yards.

81: Angel Di María has now created 23 goalscoring chances for Argentina over three different World Cup tournaments, but none of those have assisted a goal.

80: Close! Argentina are ramping up the pressure now. Mascherano sees the run of Lionel Messi but Arnason nips it off his toes. That was a certain goal.

Argentina vs Iceland: Live World Cup score, goals and updates

Ten minutes on the clock for one of these sides to find a winner. Iceland can’t do it, can they?

78: Penalty appeal! Pavon, the substitute, goes down under pressure inside the penalty area but the referee isn’t interested. He didn’t think it was a ‘clear and obvious’ error so VAR isn’t used.

76: Pavon comes on for Di Maria, while Gunnarsson is replaced by Skulason.

74: I know it’s not popular to criticise Lionel Messi, but the Argentine is trying to force things too much. Iceland sure know how to frustrate.

71: Lionel Messi has missed four of the last seven penalties that he has taken for Barcelona and Argentina combined (57%).
69: Argentina look a bit puzzled at the moment. I think they’re all astonished Lionel Messi missed that penalty. Ever Banega goes for goal but it’s straight at Halldorsson.

66: Do you think Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed that? Diego Maradona looked like he was about to keel over.

Argentina vs Iceland: Live World Cup score, goals and updates

ARGENTINA 1-1 ICELAND – MISSED PENALTY

63: Oh. My. Word. Lionel Messi has seen his penalty saved by Iceland goalkeeper Halldorsson. It was a nice height for the stopper, who guessed the right way and parried it to safety. Lionel Missi…

PENALTY TO ARGENTINA

63: Stonewall penalty. Iceland’s Magnusson shoulder charges Meza and referee Szymon Marciniak points to the spot.

ARGENTINA 1-1 ICELAND

63: Don’t ask me what formation Argentina are playing because I haven’t got a clue. There’s literally two defenders in the whole XI and everyone else is in the Iceland penalty area.

I suppose we’ll call it a 2-6-2?!
60: Sergio Aguero tip-toes his way into the penalty area but a wall of Iceland defenders block his snapshot.

57: Sevilla’s Ever Banega replaces AC Milan’s Lucas Biglia. Jorge Sampaoli evidently wants more creativity on the field, but makes them more vulnerable on the counter.

Argentina vs Iceland: Live World Cup score, goals and updates

54: Sigurdsson wriggles his way to the byline and wins the corner. Caballero rushes off his line and just about claws it away. Argentina really do look vulnerable at the back.

51: Manchester City’s Nicolas Otamendi leaps high to meet a corner but he’s underneath it. I think that’s the first set-piece that Argentina have won.

48: Nice bit of gamesmanship from Iceland, who kept Argentina waiting at the restart. I’m sure that’ll sort Lionel Messi and co out.

45: After a quick cup of tea and a chocolate bar that we’ll never tell my girlfriend about, we’re underway. No changes for either side but I can’t imagine we won’t see Paulo Dybala at some stage.

Oh look, it’s Diego Maradona looking as cool as a cucumber in the stadium today. What are the smoking regulations in Russia. I sense an infringement!

ARGENTINA 1-1 ICELAND

HT: No Lionel Messi heroics… yet. Iceland have been tremendously well organised and deserve to be level at the break. It’s all a little underwhelming from Argentina, who haven’t shown anything like their best.

45: Close! Amazing feet from Gylfi Sigurdsson puts him through on goal but he was off balance when trying to curl it beyond Caballero.

Argentina vs Iceland: Live World Cup score, goals and updates

The Everton star follows that up with a volley that flies miles wide of the post.

43: Was I too early to praise VAR? Nope! The ball hits Sigurdsson’s arm via his backside and Argentina appeal for a penalty. Quick VAR check… no penalty. Rightly so.

41: Quite nice to see VAR working efficiently. Messi wants a penalty after a coming together with one of the Iceland giants. The referee quickly puts his finger to his ear and 20 seconds later – it’s resolved. No penalty.

38: It’s all Argentina. The South Americans have seen virtually 100 per cent of possession since Finnbogason’s equaliser.
35: Meza nearly plucks Otamendi’s high ball out of the sky but there’s a little too much mustard on that one.

33: Lucas Biglia, who always seems to be linked with a move to the Premier League, sets himself and pings one into orbit. You aren’t getting a move with shots like that, Lucas.

30: Di Maria vs Gudmundsson. Now who do you think would win that fight… referee Szymon Marciniak trots over to spare the Argentine’s blushes after a bit of pushing and shoving.

28: Alfred Finnbogason has scored Iceland’s first goal in a World Cup finals tournament, just four minutes and 15 seconds after Argentina opened the scoring.

Argentina vs Iceland: Live World Cup score, goals and updates

26: Di Maria (Manchester United legend…) wins the corner for Argentina but Otamendi can’t make contact and the chance to regain the lead immediately goes begging.

ARGENTINA 1-1 ICELAND – FINNBOGASON

24: What?! Iceland are level people, this is NOT a drill!

Argentina once again show their frailties at the back and Augsburg striker Alfred Finnbogason punishes them.

Willy Cabellero and his defenders can’t clear Gylfi Sigurdsson’s cross from the right and Finnbogason arrives on cue to convert. Get ready for the thunderclap…
22: Don’t expect Iceland to switch things up and play free-flowing football after that Sergio Aguero opener. The World Cup minnows are sticking to Plan A.

ARGENTINA 1-0 ICELAND – AGUERO

19: Lionel Messi who?! Sergio Aguero has opened the scoring with one hell of a finish.

The forgotten man, who is back from serious knee surgery, is quickest to collect Rojo’s terrible shot and spins his marker before firing into the top corner.

That’s his first ever World Cup goal on his third attempt!

Argentina vs Iceland: Live World Cup score, goals and updates

18: Close! Lionel Messi teases his marker by coming to an abrupt halt. He then ghosts past him and curls a beauty that Halldorsson palms away.

15: Argentina fans not having the Icelandic war cry at all. Soon as the first few hand claps started, they utterly drowned it out.
12: Iceland should be ahead. Argentina were warned when Bjarnason shrugged off Rojo and blazed over.

Argentina then inexplicably give away possession and Bjarnason arrives on cue. It looks for all the world like he’s going to score but he drags it wide of a half-empty net.

10: Iceland have been nice and physical whenever they get the chance. Hallfredsson was nearly punished for a late challenge but a quick VAR check and he avoids a booking.

Chance! Lionel Messi swings a pretty poor free-kick into the area and Tagliafico does well to turn it inches wide of the post.

7: More ball trouble at the World Cup. Two were thrown away during the France vs Australia clash earlier and Lionel Messi has just tossed one away. You had ONE job!

4: Well I don’t think I’ve seen this before. Argentina are genuinely playing a 2-4-4. That’s obsencnly attacking, even for the South American side.

Argentina vs Iceland: Live World Cup score, goals and updates

3: The last time a player other than Lionel Messi scored a competitive goal for Argentina was a whopping 569 days ago. Start pulling your weight, lads!

ARGENTINA vs ICELAND

13:15: And here are your line-ups. Obviously the fact Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli released the team yesterday kind of ruins the tension. Spoil sport!

Argentina XI: Caballero, Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico, Meza, Biglia, Mascherano, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero.

Subs: Guzman, Mercado, Ansaldi, Fazio, Banega, Acuna, Higuain, Armani, Perez, Lo Celso, Dybala, Pavon.

Iceland XI: Halldorsson, Saevarsson, Arnason, R Sigurdsson, Magnusson, Berg Gudmundsson, Gunnarsson, Hallfredsson, Bjarnason, G Sigurdsson, Finnbogason.

Subs: Fridjonsson, Gudmundsson, Ingason, Sigurdarson, Schram, Runarsson, Eyjolfsson, OI Skulason, Gislason, Traustason, Bodvarsson, AF Skulason.

Barcelona

I’m really grateful to our fans, Messi speaks after netting hat-trick

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Barcelona talisman, Lionel Messi, was given a standing ovation by Real Betis supporters, after scoring his 33rd La Liga hat trick in their 4-1 win at the Benito Villamarin on Sunday.

Messi opened the scoring with a free kick and added the second before the break after a brilliant Luis Suarez assist.

He completed his treble late on with an exquisite chip, after Suarez and Loren Moron had exchanged goals.

The third Messi strike, which killed off any late hopes of a Betis comeback, drew an ovation from the home supporters which the Argentine international says he has never previously experienced.

“I don’t ever remember a night like this [being applauded by rival supporters].

“I’m really grateful for the way the fans responded. I honestly don’t remember an ovation like that [from rival fans],” Messi told Movistar.

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Sadio Mane top highest goal scorer in Premier League

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Following the conclusion of match-day 31 of the English Premier League, EPL, on Sunday, below are the current highest goal scorers chasing the Golden Boot in the English top-flight league.

Liverpool forward, Sadio Mane scored in his side’s 2-1 win over Fulham on Sunday to take his tally to 17 goals so far this season.

Everton stars, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison scored in their side’s 2-0 victory over Chelsea on Sunday to take their tallies to 12 goals each.

See top 20 of Premier League highest goal scorers so far below:

18 gaols: Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).

17 goals: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Harry Kane (Tottenaham), Sadio Mane (Liverpool).

15 goals: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

13 goals: Eden Hazard (Chelsea).

12 goals: Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), Raúl Jiménez (Wolves), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton), Richarlison (Everton), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United).

11 goals: Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth), Son Heung-Min (Tottenham), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Joshua King (Bournemouth), Glenn Murray (Brighton).

10 goals: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham).

Meanwhile, the match-day 32 of the English Premier League will resume coming weekend.

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Football

Dogo explains as Sunshine Stars FC held to goalless draw in Akure by Enyimba

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Sunshine Star Football Club of Akure have played a goalless draw with Enyimba International Football Club of Aba in the match 11 of the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, at the Akure Township Stadium.

The week 11 fixture saw the Enyimba team doing most of the defensive playing, while the Akure-based team, Sunshine Stars FC’s strikers could not prove their potency within the box 18 of the Aba team after series of chances.

Reacting after the match which saw his team drop two points at home, the Sunshine Stars FC coach, Kabiru Dogo, who described the performance of his boys as not too good, disclosed that it was due to logistic problems within the club.

“As a coach, I’m not happy for the outcome of the match, as you can see my team played one of their best games today but we could not get the goals in the area of attacking, because football is all about goals, I could not say we did well, we didn’t do well, but there is room for improvement.

“We had opportunities to bring in new strikers into the team but due to some problems and logistics within the club, we had to manage what we have,” the Sunshine coach stated.

On his own part, the Head Coach of Enyimba International FC, Usman Abd’allah, who lauded his team’s spirit at getting the deserving one point away from home, maintained that it will help in boosting the mental stability of his boys in subsequent fixtures.

“A draw is a good one for us, even though we came here for the three points because the last two away matches because we were able to grab two point each from that match. But we thought we are going to get our first three away points but we had one point, it’s okay.

“At this moment, we are one step ahead because we are now picking up because the away points we have been getting is helping in replacing those we have lost. It’s a recovery of what we lost against Lobi Stars.

“I like the result and the fighting spirit of my boys,” Usman stated.

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