Halldórsson Denies Lionel Messi from the Spot as Iceland Earn a Historic Point

Lionel Messi missing penalty v Iceland
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 16: Hannes Halldorsson of Iceland saves a penalty from Lionel Messi of Argentina during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Argentina and Iceland at Spartak Stadium on June 16, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

A mediocre opening half for Lionel Messi. The star man tested the keeper early with some ambitious long-range efforts, dealt with comfortably by Halldórsson. However, Messi was at the heart of most of Argentina’s attack, naturally letting the play flow through him. It was evident that Iceland had targeted Messi, as he often found himself stuck between several Icelandic bodies.

Iceland Earn Historic Point Thanks to Messi Miss

Messi’s Reply to Ronaldo’s Hat-Trick?

The second half was goalless, the main talking point of the game ergo, being a rare missed penalty by Messi in the 64th minute. A teasing chipped pass led to calamity in the box earning the Argentines a spot-kick.

10 efforts on goal, yet Messi failed to convert any. This is in stark contrast to Ronaldo’s hattrick from just 4 chances. Therfore, the pressure now rests on Messi’s shoulders, as he will seek to improve his performance in the remaining group games.

Argentina’s Dodgy Defence Exposed Early

Argentina faces danger early as Bjarnason saw the ball fall perfectly to his feet inside the penalty area in the opening 10 minutes. Fortunately for the Argentines, a missed kick saw the ball drift passed Caballero’s goal.

The equalizer came minutes after Aguero’s opener. Failure to clear the ball in the box, saw Sigurdsson fizz a ball across the penalty area and lay it on a platter for striker, Finbogasson. A historic goal that opened Iceland’s world cup goal account.

Another chance from Gylfi Sigurdsson was saved by Cabellero just before the half-time whistle. Despite Argentina diminating possession, the Icelanders were able to create some chances that tested the Argentine backline.

Aguero Steals the Limelight Early

Sergio Aguero opened the scoring in the opening 20 minutes via a thunderous strike into the roof of the net. Aguero was dormant until this point but was able to effectively create and convert the chance.

Iceland adopted a playing style reminiscent of their victory against England, rock solid at the back, with challenges flying in from all directions. Luck did swing their way after a penalty was denied in Argentina’s favor.

Tension flooded through the stadium right until the last kick of the game, but a passionate and hardworking Iceland side continued their fairytale by earning an historic point against titanic Argentina.

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