Watch all the goals and key plays as Argentina is held to a draw by Iceland at the World Cup.

By Avi Creditor
June 16, 2018

Iceland players and coaches maintained that they weren't afraid of the World Cup stage or playing against Lionel Messi and Argentina. Then they went out and showed it.

Iceland held Argentina to a 1-1 draw in Moscow, with Hannes Thor Halldorsson saving a Messi penalty kick just after the hour mark to preserve the draw. Sergio Aguero had opened the scoring in the 19th minute, but it was answered four minutes later by Alfred Finnbogason, with the teams splitting the point in a deep Group D.

Iceland fans, naturally, were quite excited for their nation's first World Cup, and congregated outside in Moscow to perform their famous Viking Clap as part of the pregame festivities. 

Iceland came out in the opening seconds, trying to stun from the first kick, with Gylfi Sigurdsson attempting a speculative left-footed chance from long range, though it harmlessly went wide of Willy Caballero's goal.

Argentina's first chance came in the eighth minute off a Messi free kick. His low, liner was flicked goalbound by Nicolas Tagliafico, but the glanced header went just wide of the far post. 

Iceland had a golden chance of its own a minute later. Argentina turned it over trying to play it out of the back, and a deflection fell perfectly for Birkir Bjarnason. The Aston Villa midfielder pulled his clean chance wide of the goal, though, letting Argentina off and spoiling the opportunity.

Messi put his first chance on frame in the 17th minute with a left-footed rocket that was punched away to safety by Halldorsson.

Argentina got its breakthrough two minutes later, though. Marcos Rojo's speculative chance from long range wound up being defended and falling right to Aguero, who took a touch, turned and fired from inside the box to give Argentina a 1-0 lead.

Messi then forced Halldorsson into another tough save moments later, with Argentina finding its footing in the match after some early nervy moments.

Just when it looked like Argentina would enforce its will even more, Iceland equalized. A sloppy sequence in the back from Cabellero allowed for Finnbogason to fire home off a rebound from close range, making it 1-1 in the 23rd minute.

Argentina was left shouting for a penalty in the 42nd minute, when Eduardo Salvio's cross hit the hand of Ragnar Sigurdsson in the box as he slid to make the tackle. VAR was consulted and did not give the penalty.

As halftime neared, Iceland nearly took a stunning lead. Gylfi Sigurdsson weaved his way through Argentina defenders and forced Cabellero into a diving save, which he parried in front of him. Argentina was able to clear, though, ending the danger.

The second half was rather cagey until Argentina earned a penalty just after the hour mark. Messi chipped the ball forward and Ragnar Sigurdsson was guilty of chipping down his mark. But Messi's penalty was saved by Halldorsson, preserving the 1-1 scoreline.

Messi nearly made up for the miss in the 82nd minute. With space to shoot at last, from about 22 yards out, he turned a trademark left-footed curler on frame, only to miss the left post by inches.

In the 87th minute, Halldorsson came up huge again. Cristian Pavon sent a cross in from the left, but it was earmarked to tuck inside the far post. The Iceland GK made an acrobatic save going to his left to tip it to safety.

Messi had another chance go inches wide in stoppage time, off his less-favored right foot through traffic at the edge of the Iceland box.

And with the final whistle nearing, Messi had one more chance off a free kick just outside the box, just like Ronaldo had the day before. Yet Messi's free kick was drilled into the wall, and the whistle blew, cementing the shocking result.

Here were the lineups for both sides:

Here are the rosters for both teams:


Goalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Willy Caballero (Chelsea), Nahuel Guzman (Tigres)

Defenders: Marcos Acuña (Sporting Lisbon), Cristian Ansaldi (Torino), Federico Fazio (Roma), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax)

Midfielders: Ever Banega (Sevilla), Lucas Biglia (AC Milan), Angel Di Maria (PSG), Giovani Lo Celso (PSG), Enzo Perez (River Plate), Javier Mascherano (Hebei China Fortune), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica)

Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus)

Manager: Jorge Sampaoli


Goalkeepers: Hannes Thor Halldorsson (Randers), Runar Alex Runarsson (Nordsjaelland), Frederik Schram (Roskilde)

Defenders: Kari Arnason (Aberdeen), Ari Freyr Skulason (Lokeren), Birkir Mar Saevarsson (Valur), Sverrir Ingi Ingason (Rostov), Hordur Magnusson (Bristol City), Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson (Levski Sofia), Ragnar Sigurdsson (Rostov)

Midfielders: Johann Berg Gudmundsson (Burnley), Birkir Bjarnason (Aston Villa), Arnor Ingvi Traustason (Malmo), Emil Hallfredsson (Udinese), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton), Olafur Ingi Skulason (Karabukspor), Rurik Gislason (Sandhausen), Samuel Fridjonsson (Valerenga), Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City)

Forwards: Alfred Finnbogason (Augsburg), Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson (Rostov), Jon Dadi Bodvarsson (Reading), Albert Gudmundsson (PSV)

Manager: Heimir Hallgrímsson

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