Argentina’s Messi: Iceland rolled out solid defense impossible to penetrate


They signaled their intent from the kick off, sending seven men charging into the box to challenge as the ball was pumped long and it proved to be just the first of many uncomfortable moments for a decidedly shaky Argentine defense.

With the five-time world player of the year stepping up to restore Argentina's lead in the Group D opener, tiny Iceland's first ever appearance at the World Cup finals, Halldorsson admitted that he felt the pressure.

Messi had the chance to put Argentina ahead from the penalty spot, but his tame effort was easily kept out by Hannes Halldorsson as the spoils were shared in Moscow.

The man who denied the Argentina captain was Hannes Halldorsson, who incredibly works as a film director when he's not playing football.

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

"We aimed for the win, but we failed as we scored a fast goal and the Icelanders tied the score", Messi told journalists after the game.

Striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, who scored the goal that knocked England out of Euro 2016, did not make it to Russian Federation due to a long-term injury.

"I'm massively proud of our support here but I don't know where the Argentinians bought all their tickets - we really struggled to find them and could have brought lots more fans", said Hallgrimsson. That gives us all a few days to replace the blown-out speakers on our laptops.

With the score 1-1, Barcelona superstar Messi missed a penalty to allow Iceland to secure a draw in the opening World Cup Group D encounter.

The score was already 1-1 when Argentina was awarded the penalty after Hordur Magnusson's tumbling fall over Sergio Aguero as both chased Messi's floated cross. 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. The ref pointed to the spot and naturally Messi was decided amongst his teammates he was the worthy choice to play "God". Argentinian keeper Willy Caballero, experience his first tourney as the undisputed #1, was helpless after bobbling a volley from Gylfi Sigurðsson on the face of goal.

'We really felt we were in a complicated group and we knew it would be a hard game'.

Manchester City's Aguero missed the end of the Premier League season with a knee injury, but Sampaoli deemed him fit enough to start over Higuain, who critics say is yet to produce his best for the national team.

"Are you Cristiano Ronaldo's uncle?" he asked the reporter - Ronaldo dismissed Iceland as "small minded" when they cheered a 1-1 draw with Portugal in their first match at Euro 2016. "I had a good feeling he would go that way". 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.

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