Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Iceland, un point! Halldorsson's Eurovision stops Messi

Iceland, un point! Halldorsson's Eurovision stops Messi

Messi was visibly frustrated throughout the match, especially in the moments that followed his missed penalty kick.

He said: 'Argentina are part of the history of the World Cup and I believe they will go far this year - that is why this is a great success to get a point against them.

In yet another historic day for the Icelandic Football team, Argentina was held to a 1-1 draw by the tournament debutants at the Spartak stadium tonight. They had a lot of possession. This is a team which has perfected the art of frustrating their opponents into submission.

There were no smiles from Jorge Sampaoli, though, as the Argentina coach fielded a series of questions about his tactics and selections.

Ronaldo in action against Iceland. Thirty seconds later the Everton man has space to lash in a volley put puts it wide. Messi stepped up to take the spot kick, but the placement was at the ideal height to allow Halldorsson to make a diving save to his right.

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Sergio Aguero is back, looking fit and taking his goal well. The Manchester City man took a couple of steps away from his marker before turning and unleashing a thunderous effort beyond the Iceland keeper.

But just five minutes later, Iceland equalized, as Alfred Finnbogason took advantage of a disorganized Argentina defence to tie the score.

With Diego Maradona watching on from the stands, Messi failed to convert from the spot in the second half of an eventful Group D opener at the Otkrytie Arena in Moscow. "Everyone's tried everything against him and he always manages to score", he said. Magnusson penalised for a collision with Meza.

Given what they've achieved in recent years, it should not come as a surprise that they were competitive in their first outing on football's biggest stage, even against Argentina.

"It hurts me, and I feel responsible for not having able to take the three points", Messi told Argentine media. Halldorsson guessed the right way and palmed the ball to safety.

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Nine minutes from the end, Messi curled a superb strike narrowly wide from the edge of the D, and Argentina threw Gonzalo Higuain into the fray as they pressed for a late victor.

"It is true that the coach organises the team but the footballers create the opportunities on the pitch and if you have players like Messi then the coach has to organise players around him to take advantage of his fantastic skills", he said.

He ripped off his captain's armband at full-time and offered little more than a blank stare as Iceland's players acknowledged his presence. Argentina make a hash of the back pass, the ball is payed to Bjarnason around six yards out but he sidefoots it wide, he should have scored!

FW Cristian Pavon, 7 - Normally, he'd have come on too late for a rating, but given that he instantly did more than Di Maria had in 74 minutes before him, and probably should have been given a penalty after being tripped in the box two minutes after being introduced, the Boca man has to be pushing to start subsequent games. And Ronaldo, you'll recall, exited the pitch in Saint-Etienne that night with a cocky grin akin to the Cheshire Cat.

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