June 18, 2018 / 6:01 AM / 3 months ago

Messi's penalty miss not to blame for draw with Iceland - Maradona

(Reuters) - Diego Maradona says Lionel Messi’s second-half penalty miss was not the reason Argentina failed to defeat Iceland at the World Cup on Saturday.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group D - Argentina vs Iceland - Spartak Stadium, Moscow, Russia - June 16, 2018 Argentina's Lionel Messi reacts after the match REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Messi saw his spot kick saved by goalkeeper Hannes Por Halldorsson after Alfred Finnbogason had cancelled out Sergio Aguero’s 19th minute opener.

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“I don’t blame the players,” Maradona told Venezuelan television channel Telesur.

“I could blame the lack of work rate. But I can’t blame the players, much less Messi, who gave it all he had.

“I missed five penalties on the spin and I was still Diego Armando Maradona. I don’t think that they dropped two points because Messi missed a penalty.”

Argentina take on Croatia on Thursday before their final group game against Nigeria next week.

Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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