Argentina’s Lionel Messi fluffed his World Cup lines on Saturday, missing a penalty as small Iceland held Argentina closely to a 1-1 draw after France benefited from the first use of the Video Assistant Referee system in the world cup tournament’s history.
Just a day after his eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo scored a sensational hat-trick to secure a 3-3 draw for Portugal against Spain, Messi had a golden chance to writehis own headlines.
The Argentine stepped up to the spot with the teams locked at 1-1 in Moscow’s Spartak Stadium after Rurik Gislason was adjudged to have brought down Maximiliano Meza in the 63rd minute.
But Hannes Halldorsson guessed correctly and palmed away the Argentine skipper’s side-footed effort and, despite intense pressure, Iceland held on for a famous draw.
Sergio Aguero scored the opener for the two-time world champions in the 19th minute but his strike was almost immediately cancelled out by Alfred Finnbogaso.
It was another extraordinary result in the history of Iceland, who famously dumped England out of Euro 2016.
The island nation of 330,000 is the smallest country ever to qualify for the finals but emphatically showed they can mix it with the heavyweights.
Messi is yet to win a major international tournament and time is running out with his 31st birthday looming.