“It was an uncomfortable match because Iceland were playing very defensively, blocking all spaces.”
Sampaoli said that Argentina started slowly and wasted too much time passing the ball around innocuously in midfield — although he may have played a part in that by fielding two defensive players, Javier Mascherano and Lucas Biglia, in front of the defence.
“In the first 20 minutes, we didn’t move the ball around quickly enough to worry our opponents and they had a lot of people in the penalty area,” he said.
“We were very slow on the ball and we didn’t use our numbers on the left side of the pitch.
“Maybe we needed to be more creative in the first half – perhaps we needed some more through balls from midfield such as the one which led to the penalty.”
The draw left Argentina in an uncomfortable position in Group D with matches against Croatia and Nigeria still to come.
“The major problem is that we didn’t win and get the three points we wanted,” said Sampaoli. We will learn from what happened and we have to have the strength to win the next game.”