Sergio Aguero has opened his World Cup goal account in Argentina’s Group C clash with Iceland, with the Manchester City striker finding the target at the ninth attempt.
Having forged a reputation as a prolific frontman at club level, the Albiceleste have turned to the 30-year-old for attacking inspiration on a regular basis.
He headed to Russia 2018 with 37 goals recorded in 85 appearances, but none of those had come on the grandest of sporting stages.
Aguero has now shaken that monkey from his back after netting in his first outing at the 2018 showpiece.
With a global audience looking to Lionel Messi to light up a World Cup stage in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick heroics a day earlier, it was Aguero who made the first telling contribution.
He needed just 19 minutes to make his mark against Iceland, with a typically classy finish showcasing how important he could be for Argentina as they seek to end their long wait for international glory.
Having worked the ball out of his feet with his back to goal, the City star spun to crash a left-footed effort into the top corner.
The relief at hitting the back of the net was clear for all to see in a passionate celebration, with Argentina needing somebody to help Messi carry the weight of expectation.
1 - Sergio Aguero's goal was his first at a World Cup, in what is his ninth appearance across three different tournaments in the competition. Wait.#ARGISL #ARG #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/LquxVmz6Fj — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 16, 2018
While Aguero got Argentina off to the best possible start against Iceland, their early advantage was to be short-lived.
Within four minutes of the deadlock being broken, some rather questionable defending allowed Augsburg forward Alfred Finnbogason to restore parity.