Messi’s Penalty-miss, Sloppy VAR Denied Argentina Win against Iceland

  • Argentina vs Iceland match ends in 1-1 draw.
  • Sergio Aguero and Alfred Finnbogason scored for respective teams.
  • Messi’s penalty kick was saved by Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson.

Argentina started their FIFA World Cup 2018 campaign against Iceland with a draw.

Sergio Aguero fired the ball at the top of net with a left footer at 19th minute of the game. The lead was short-lived. At 23rd minute of the game, Alfred Finnbogason equalises for Iceland when Willy Caballero was attempting to clear a ball. It was first World-Cup goal for island nation.

The biggest moment of the game came at 64th minute when Messi’s penalty was saved by Hannes Halldorsson, the Man of the Match. The mood of the game was set. It was not Messi’s day. Iceland did not provide free space to Argentina and Argentina attempted shots from a distance.

However, two Argentine appeals for penalty, one at 39th minute and other at 41st minute, were disregarded by referee. Bigila was apparently tripped inside the box, which was followed by another appeal for handball by Sigurdsson. Both happened inside the Iceland box.

Argentina will now face talented Croatia and tough Nigeria in their subsequent games. Sampaoli, the Argentine coach, said Argentina would regroup and and move on from this disappointment. “There’s a certain amount of frustration when you come to win a game and don’t get there,” he said. He refused to single out Messi for his penalty miss.

It was fourth penalty miss by Messi, out of his last seven attempts for country or club. Jose Mourinho, Manchester United coach, sounds sympathetic to Argentine star, “Evaluating Leo’s performance is very difficult because they played almost the whole game in their own half,” he said. “I believe it was a fair result, I think Iceland played on their limits. I repeat, when a team play on its limits, you can’t demand more,” Mourinho said. “If I had to choose  a word to describe Iceland, it would be compact…”. He explained, “No man to man versus Messi… just being compact… They reduced the space”

Highlights of Argentina vs. Iceland match

Man of the Match – Hannes HALLDORSSON