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FIFA World Cup 2018: Bjarnason, Jedinak and Elmohamady update

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Bjarnason, Jedinak and Elmohamady update

Birkir Bjarnason’s Iceland earned a highly-impressive 1-1 draw with Lionel Messi’s Argentina in their opening World Cup match.

Messi was looking to match the impact Ronaldo has made on the tournament the previous evening - a cracking hat-trick against Spain.

But it was agony for Messi as his second-half spot-kick was easily saved by Hannes Halldorsson with the score at 1-1.

The draw was fully deserved for Bjarnason’s Iceland, who are the smallest nation ever to play in a World Cup finals.

Bjarnason had a great early chance but scuffed his effort wide of goal.

Moments later in the Spartak Stadium, Sergio Aguero put Argentina ahead with a top strike.

But their lead lasted only four minutes as Alfred Finnbogason equalised.

Finnbogason lashed a shot home to send the teams in level at the break before Messi missed from the spot in the second half's best chance.

Iceland, in Group D, now face Nigeria on Friday 22nd June, kick-off 4pm and Croatia on Tuesday 26th June, kick-off 7pm.

JedinakPostFrance2Mile Jedinak’s penalty was not enough as Australia went down 2-1 to France in an actioned-packed World Cup clash.

VAR penalised Australia's Josh Risdon for a foul on Antoine Griezmann, allowing the Atletico Madrid forward to open the scoring from the spot, the first World Cup goal influenced by this form of technology.

However, French defender Samuel Umtiti handled Aaron Mooy's free-kick which enabled the Socceroos to equalise through Jedinak's penalty in Kazan.

The Aussies looked set to hold one of the pre-tournament favourites until Paul Pogba's lobbed effort deflected off full-back Aziz Behich and the crossbar to fall inches over the goal-line.

Australia now face Denmark on Thursday 21st June, kick-off 1pm and Peru on Tuesday 26th June, kick-off 3pm as they look to progress through Group C.

EgyptLossAhmed Elmohamady joined Mo Salah on the bench and both were unused subs as Egypt lost 1-0 to Uruguay. 

Jose Gimenez headed powerfully into the net in the 90th minute as he met Carlos Sanchez's free-kick to give the South Americans a winning start in Russia.

The result means Russia are top of Group A after their 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in the tournament's opening game on Thursday.

Egypt now have Russia on Tuesday 19th June, kick-off 7pm and Saudi Arabia on Monday 25th June, kick-off 3pm as they look to progress.

Paul Brown
By @paulbrownavfc 16th June 2018