World Cup: Spirited Iceland hold Argentina

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Moscow, June 16 (IANS) Iceland came up with a fighting performance to hold formidable Argentina to a 1-1 stalemate in a hard fought Group D match of the FIFA World Cup at the Spartak Stadium here on Saturday.

Sergio Aguero put Argentina ahead in the 19th minute but Alfred Finnbogason (23rd) restored parity for Iceland a short while later.

The rest of the match saw star-studded Argentina dominate possession and put the Iceland goal under almost constant pressure in search of the winning goal.

But Iceland used their superior height and physique to good effect as they defended stoutly to stymie the wave upon wave of Argentine attacks.

Goalkeeper Hannes Haldorsson emerged as the hero for the Europeans in the 64th minute when he produced a diving save to keep out a penalty from Argentine star Lionel Messi.

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Hordur Bjorgvin Magnusson had brought down Argentina’s Maximiliano Meza with a clumsy tackle inside the penalty area after Messi had swung in a cross.

That was one of the few chances the South Americans managed as they struggled to penetrate the well organised Iceland defence.

–IANS

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