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WC diary: Argentina, Iceland fans in full voice

  • Published at 11:55 pm June 16th, 2018
  • Last updated at 08:54 pm June 17th, 2018
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Argentina fans before their World Cup match against Iceland in Moscow Saturday Dhaka Tribune/Fazley Rabbi Moon

The Fifa World Cup 2018 started just a few days ago and there have already been some early boosts in terms of the merit of the matches.

Host Russia, the lowest ranked team in the tournament, thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening match and on the very second day, riding on talisman Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick, current Euro champion Portugal denied Spain a victory in a classic Iberian derby in Sochi.

But if you want to see a true sporting festival, you have to come to Moscow where one of the crowd favourites Argentina are facing Iceland, making their competition debut Saturday. Though last time's finalist Argentina are favourite on pen and paper, their fans are very cautious about making any aggressive remarks.

You can see fans wearing jerseys, masks and holding flags, chanting for their respective teams with the Argentina-Iceland match fast approaching. Predictably, the Sky Blues fans chanting "Vamos, vamos Argentina" were large in numbers. But the Iceland fans were louder, standing in groups and singing Viking songs.

The whole city got a festive touch on the occasion and the vibe is everywhere, in the metro, the trams, the buses, the train market and in the streets.

Lucia Correa, a 28-year old fan sporting a traditional Argentina mask along with three other friends, expressed optimism regarding the Albiceleste's chances but also respected newcomer Iceland.

"We came here a long way from Argentina to see our team win the World Cup for the first time in my life. We always cherished our history and the last time we went to Brazil, we missed out on the trophy on the final day," said Correa, who plans to stay here till the end of the World Cup.

Asked if he is happy with the squad, he replied: “Yes. I have full confidence on coach and management. We last lost finals in international competitions by narrow margins. You can't blame them for this kind of bad luck."

“I know there's too much talk on Mauro Icardi's exclusion, but you know we have some great names on our front line. We had to sacrifice someone, in this case it was bad luck for Icardi, as others have better international experience,” added the Boca Juniors fan.