Messi misses penalty as Iceland hold Argentina to 1-1 draw

Messi misses penalty as Iceland hold Argentina to 1-1 draw

The 29-year-old said Iceland respected their more illustrious opponents but weren't in awe of the likes of Messi.

Striker Sergio Aguero was quick to jump to Lionel Messi's defence after his penalty miss cost Argentina the chance to make a winning start to the World Cup.

Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson led a light training session allowing opportunities to Iceland's unused substitutes to stretch their legs, while the likes of Gunnarsson and goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson, who saved a second-half penalty from Messi, jogged gently around the pitch. Messi placed his shot to the right of Hannes Halldorsson, but the Iceland goalkeeper dived and got two hands behind the ball.

He went equally nuts when Finnbogason's equalizer went in.

After becoming the surprise package at UEFA Euro 2016, Iceland followed up their success by becoming the smallest nation to qualify for a World Cup.

Messi, struggling to find space as Iceland closed him down relentlessly, created a bit of room after 17 minutes but his whipped shot from outside the area was beaten away by Halldorsson. That gives us all a few days to replace the blown-out speakers on our laptops.

Argentina played dismally amid Messi's failed chances as debutants Iceland held the former champions to a 1-1 draw at Spartak Stadium on Saturday (June 15) in FIFA World Cup Group D tie.

More news: ICC charges Dinesh Chandimal for breaching the Code of Conduct

While Argentina controlled the ball for large stretches, they held steady at the back, and with 20 minutes remaining the situation was summed up when Banega curled a hopeful, rather than risky, shot towards the 'keeper from outside the box.

Messi has now missed four of the last seven penalties that he has taken for Argentina and Barcelona. After a couple of overhit crosses from Iceland weren't dealt with properly, a rebound fell kindly to Alfred Finnbogason who made no mistake and drew Iceland level. Finnbogasson has inked his name in the history books as he secured Iceland's first world cup goal.

"I repeat, when a team play on its limits, you can't demand more", Mourinho said.

"We are bluntly honest about our ability - we know how we can win games".

I imagine Cristiano Ronaldo, sitting back, sipping a fizzy water at Portugal's World Cup compound while pumping his own tires following Lionel Messi's unremarkable performance. "I know he's committed to helping us get into the next round". I feel responsible for not being able to take the three points.

A clearly ruffled Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli defended Messi and his players, predicting they would bounce back against Croatia and Denmark to progress from Group D.

Argentina's opener arrived after a glaring miss at the other end, the late-arriving Birkir Bjarnason carelessly pushing a side-footed effort wide of the target when the ball had broken kindly into his path.

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