The first timers at the World Cup, Iceland held their own against two-time winners, Argentina, with goalie Halldorsson saving a Messi penalty that could have sealed all points for Albiceleste.
The opener of Group D between Iceland and Argentina ended in a surprising draw at the Spartak stadium in Moscow.
The Albiceleste attacked in waves and held most of the ball, however, with Messi having an off day, the Icelanders embraced the pressure and attacked on the back foot.
It took Argentina 19 minutes to open the scoring, thanks to a brilliant finish from Aguero. However, four minutes later, parity was restored thanks to Finnborgason, who found the net after a sloppy clearance from the South Americans.
The first half ended with Argentina seeing their chances saved by Halldorsson. Messi must have felt he was going to get his first goal, when a penalty was awarded. Unfortunately for the Barcelona star, he found his shot saved with ease.
The game ended with a frustrated Albiceleste and a happy ending for the Icelanders.
Enjoy the images from Iceland’s memorable 1-1 draw with Argentina in their FIFA World Cup debut.
“This is a great success for Iceland. I firmly believe that Argentina will go far in this World Cup, so it’s a fantastic result for us. We could not give them too much space, knowing the talent they have. But although they had some good opportunities, so did we. We wanted to use the space behind them more than we did – but it’s difficult when you don’t have the ball!”
Heimir Hallgrimsson, Iceland coach
“Messi was in a very uncomfortable situation because Iceland played very defensively. He couldn’t find the space he needs. But we still believe in ourselves and we know that we have all the tools to succeed.”
Jorge Sampaoli, Argentina coach