Lionel Messi Misses Crucial Penalty, Argentina & Iceland Draw 1-1

Monday, 18 Jun, 2018

In addition to saving a spot-kick from a five-time Ballon d'Or victor, Halldorsson also made six crucial saves as Iceland earned an unlikely point.

Iceland's battling 1-1 draw against Argentina in their first-ever World Cup match was a "schoolbook" example of how to keep Lionel Messi quiet, the coach of the Nordic minnows said Sunday.

Iceland keeper Hannes Por Halldorsson saves a penalty.

He went equally nuts when Finnbogason's equalizer went in. After some neat footwork, the striker turned and smashed home a wonderful effort for his first World Cup goal.

At Euro 2016, Iceland drew against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and famously beat England on the way to the quarter-finals. Ronaldo was on Halldorsson's mind for other reasons on Saturday, however, when asked why Icelanders celebrated so much when they only drew. That gives us all a few days to replace the blown-out speakers on our laptops.

Iceland goalkeeper, Hannes Halldorsson, has stated that he denied Argentina captain, Lionel Messi from the spot by studying his penalty technique.

Iceland would eventually hold on for a priceless point as Argentina got their campaign in Russian Federation off to a mediocre start.

Argentina took the lead through Sergio Aguero in the 19th minute on Saturday as a cigar-puffing Maradona looked on from the stands of the Spartak Stadium.

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Iceland was level four minutes later, however, when Alfred Finnbogason scored after Argentina goalkeeper Willy Caballero pushed a low cross into the forward's path for a volley from eight yards.

Messi had a chance to get the victor for Sampaoli's men ten minutes before time with a curling strike from just outside the box but guided his effort slightly wide. The ref pointed to the spot and naturally Messi was decided amongst his teammates he was the worthy choice to play "God".

If Giovani lo Celso, Cristian Pavon and Paulo Dybala are not in the frame for Argentina's next game against Croatia next Thursday (June 21), then so will Messi's dream of leading his country to their third World Cup.

Messi said Iceland's tactic's made it hard for his side claiming "they did not want to play" but admitted that Heimir Hallgrimsson's team "closed well".

He revealed: 'I did some homework on his penalties as I knew it was a situation that could come up.

Get Argentina vs Iceland live stream coverage both online and free TV info as well as complete matches schedule, fixtures, score updates.

But now they are up against Lionel Messi, a man who is on a mission to win his first trophy with the Argentine senior team.

"I had a good feeling he would go that way today". Messi curled a shot just wide in the 81st minute, before having another, similar effort blocked in the box three minutes later, but there would be no victor, for Messi or anyone else.