Messi, bidding to match the brilliant hat-trick scored by Ronaldo yesterday in Portugal's 3-3 draw with Spain, had plenty of possession but was unable to do too much with it.
The Argentine stepped up to the spot with the teams locked at 1-1 in Moscow's Spartak Stadium after Rurik Gislason was adjudged to have brought down Maximiliano Meza in the 63rd minute.
"I think the Argentinians felt a bit frustrated that they weren't getting through and it was important we equalized so quickly".
Messi is yet to win a major worldwide tournament and time is running out with his 31st birthday looming.
And, unbelievable as it may appear to many neutrals, he has his critics in Argentina, who accuse him of failing to replicate his Barcelona brilliance.
The island nation of 330,000 is the smallest country ever to qualify for the finals but emphatically showed they can mix it with the heavyweights.
"We wanted to start by winning because that would have calmed us. Our goal is to progress from the group." the coach added.
La Albiceleste did have chance to take the lead midway through half when they awarded a penalty, but Messi had his spot-kick saved.
"Luckily for us the system was there", Griezmann said.
FC's Stevie Nicol feels it's time for Lionel Messi to relinquish penalty duties as his miss resulted in a 1-1 draw with Iceland.
But the South American side's defence always seemed suspect and Alfred Finnbogason equalised just four seconds later by turning home a rebound after first missing a header.
But it is not just the number and varying quality of penalties astonishing fans at this World Cup: the new Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system has ramped controversy up to a whole new level. "But, yes, we must do better, and we can do better", he said. Gurriel apologised and was suspended for the first five games of this season.
Peruvian fans have arrived in Russian Federation in droves to celebrate their return to the sporting spectacle, but were left crestfallen after Yussuf Poulsen's second-half goal secured a 1-0 win for the Danes in Group C.
British TV staff including ITV's Jacqui Oatley reported seeing Maradona interact with South Korea fans during Argentina's Group D match with Iceland. I looked at a lot of penalties by Messi, and I also looked at how I had been behaving in previous penalties, so I tried to get into their mindset, how they would be thinking about me.
Croatia face Argentina in their second group game.
"To evaluate and characterise [Messi's] work is hard because it was an uncomfortable match", Sampaoli said, according to the Independent.
"We have things to improve, we're going to beat Croatia".