Argentina were left to rue a missed Lionel Messi penalty as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Iceland on Saturday.
Having struggled to break down Heimir Hallgrimsson’s well-organised side, Messi was presented with a chance to win the game from the spot in the 64th minute.
But he put his effort too close to Hannes Halldorsson, who made an easy save. Earlier, Gonzalo Higuain fired Argentina in front after 19 minutes with a superb swivel and shot to record what was his first ever World Cup goal.
The lead lasted just four minutes though as sloppy defending allowed Iceland to work the ball to Alfred Finnbogason for a simple tap in. Argentina pressed for the winner in the second half, but in the end had to settle for a point.
Iceland showed no signs of tiring and kept up the relentless defensive pressure. Seldom threatening to take the lead itself, Iceland also shut down Argentina’s efforts to win the game.
A final free kick by Messi in the 95th minute appropriately sailed into a wall thick with Iceland players.
Neither team was crippled by the result, but they will come out with far different memories. For Iceland, the humbling of a soccer superpower. For Argentina, a missed opportunity.
Iceland get a historic result as the smallest nation to ever qualify for the World Cup take a point off Argentina. They fell behind to Sergio Aguero’s goal but hit back quickly, with Alfred Finnbogason hitting back very quickly. From there, Iceland remained packed at the back and frustrated their opponents.
FULL-TIME! ARGENTINA 1-1 ICELAND