Iceland hold Argentina as Messi has penalty saved

Final score : 1-1 in the Spartak stadium in Moscow.

World Cup 2018
World Cup 2018

Minnows Iceland have held a star-studded Argentina side to a one-all draw in a thrilling match this afternoon. The Northeners fought off relentless attacks and Hannes Por Halldorsson saved a penalty by Lionel Messi.

Sergio Aguero had given the twice world champions the lead after 19 minutes of the Group D match. But, Iceland, who had stunned the soccer world with performance in the European Championship two years ago, demonstrated similar commitment and self-belief to strike back, just four minutes later, through Alfred Finnbogason.

Argentina eventually took command of the match and delivered wave after wave of attacks in the second half, despite not creating much in the way of chances aside from Messi's penalty in the 64th-minute.

Iceland, by far the smallest country by population to appear at the World Cup, exerted themselves tirelessly and fought for every ball.

The Icelanders started off the match as they intended to continue, sending seven men into the box to challenge for the ball in the opening moments. The irrepressible Iceland team led to many uncomfortable moments for a decidedly shaky Argentine defence.

The South Americans looked more assured in attack, taking the lead when Aguero turned tightly in the box and smashed in an unstoppable shot.

Iceland, did not blink, however forcing an equaliser just minutes later when goalkeeper Willy Caballero palmed Gylfi Sigurdsson's low shot straight into the path of Finnbogason who did not miss the open net.

Star player Lionel Messi was given little space by Iceland’s defence, but was handed the best opportunity of the match when Hordur Bjorgvin Magnusson fouled Aguero in the box. But despite placing the penalty with his usual precision, keeper Halldorsson jumped in the right direction and palmed the penalty clear.

Iceland then defended with great tenacity, holding off attack after Argentinian attack for the draw.