Former soccer star Diego Maradona smiles as he attends the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia. Image Credit: AP

Mexico: 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.

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

“I don’t blame the players,” Maradona said.

“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.