MX23RW : Thursday, August 16 09:44:38

Jorge Sampaoli: 'Argentina, Iceland game uncomfortable for Lionel Messi'

Sampaoli: 'Messi had uncomfortable game'
© Reuters
Jorge Sampaoli admits that Lionel Messi had an "uncomfortable match" as Argentina were held to a 1-1 draw by Iceland in their World Cup Group D encounter in Moscow.

Jorge Sampaoli has admitted that Lionel Messi had an "uncomfortable match" as Argentina were held to a 1-1 draw by Iceland in their World Cup Group D encounter in Moscow.

The two-time world champions took the lead in the first half through Sergio Aguero, but the tournament debutants hit back through Alfred Finnbogason.

Messi had the chance to put Argentina ahead from the penalty spot, but his tame effort was easily kept out by Hannes Halldorsson as the spoils were shared at the Otkrytiye Arena.

The Albiceleste boss claimed that Messi struggled due to Iceland's defensive tactics but stressed that the Barcelona star "is very committed" to the national side.

"To evaluate and characterise Lionel Messi's work is difficult because it was an uncomfortable match for him," Sampaoli told BBC Sport at full time.

"Iceland played very defensively, blocking all spaces but we did everything we could to win.

"Leo is very committed to Argentina."

Argentina return to action on Thursday night against Croatia.

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Sergio Aguero misses a penalty during the World Cup group game between Argentina and Iceland on June 16, 2018
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