Messi just 6/10 after another penalty failure in Argentina draw with Iceland

Emmett Rice
June 17, 2018

Hannes Halldorsson used to make zombie films for a living but it was watching videos that let Iceland's goalkeeper outwit Lionel Messi and save a penalty on Saturday that gave his side a shock World Cup point.

He said the draw felt like a win for Iceland, who are making their first World Cup appearance but famously eliminated England at Euro 2016 to reach the quarter-finals. That was Messi's fourth miss from his last seven spot kicks for Barcelona and Argentina.

The draw was sweeter the more as goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson kept out Lionel Messi's penalty to claim a famous result here in Russian Federation.

Iceland, playing in its first World Cup, fell behind in the 19th minute on a lovely goal by Sergio Aguero, his first at a Cup. Alfred Finnbogason equalized for Iceland four minutes later after Argentina goalkeeper Willy Caballero pushed a low cross into the forward's path. The Argentine press have underestimated Iceland for weeks, and the upshot is that this result feels like the end of the world.

Sergio Aguero's frustration at World Cups stands in stark contrast to his ice-cool finishing in front of goal for Manchester City.

In the 64 minute, Lionel Messi stepped up to take a spot kick and in an all too familiar scene, he missed!

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He continued to try for a way through against Iceland with 11 attempted shots, the most he's ever tried in a World Cup game, but was left frustrated.

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While Hallgrimsson got his approach spot on, the same can not be said for his Argentina counterpart Jorge Sampaoli, whose pre-match assertion that everything would be centred around Lionel Messi seemed to upset the balance of his side. And they were going to get a baptism of fire as they prepared to face Argentina with Lionel Messi surely fired up after seeing his legendary rival Cristiano Ronaldo score a hat trick against Spain the previous night.

But the most memorable moment of the game came in the second half.

Iceland were aggressive and combative from the first minute and offered a threat on the break against Argentina's vulnerable back line.

Iceland, by far the smallest country by population to appear at a World Cup and inspired by their "thunderclapping" fans, ran and battled tirelessly as they wrote another unlikely chapter in their short but glorious major tournament history.

"I had a good feeling it would go this way today", he said of his dive to his right to stop Messi's uninspired effort.

As for Messi, he's held his hands up on the penalty miss and will focus on Argentina's remaining games.

"If someone is surprised (by that) then, they don't know much about Iceland football".

"The idea is the same, we have to win the next two games".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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