Argentina’s World Cup got off to an underwhelming start on Saturday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Iceland. The underdogs put on a brilliant defensive display and were able to keep out Messi and company for the majority of the game.
Sergio Aguero had put Argentina in front with Alfred Finnbogason equalising just minutes later. And despite Lionel Messi’s best efforts, which included 11 shots – the most he has attempted in a World Cup game - he was unable to beat the stubborn Icelandic defence.
Yet he did have a golden opportunity in the 64th minute to equalise from the spot, but his penalty was saved by Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson – a part time film director.
Halldorsson’s performance has rightly earned him praise from around the world and his humble post match interview should make him even more of a hero.
“It’s a dream come true to save it.” Halldorsson said in a post match interview, via Give Me Sport.
“For me, as a goalkeeper, to play for Iceland in the first game of the World Cup, to face the best player in the world at a penalty is a big moment.
“Especially because it helped us get a big point that I hope is going to prove important for us to reach our goal to qualify (from Group D).”
After Cristiano Ronaldo’s extraordinary hat-trick for Portugal against Spain, all eyes were on Messi to perform for his country at the highest level. However, Messi was unable to make his mark in Russia in his first game. Up next for Messi and Argentina is Croatia while Iceland face Nigeria in their next group game.