After taming Messi, Iceland targeting Nigeria: Gunnarsson

18 June, 2018, 01:35 | Author: Eleanor Thompson
  • World Cup 2018 Argentina vs Iceland Lionel Messi Led Argentina Look To Make Early Statement

"The circumstances around the missed penalty and that led to Leo's mistake, that's just another statistic, it's part of the past. football is like that".

Despite the world-class goalscoring talent available to Argentina, Messi had to drag them to the World Cup nearly single-handedly, and they'll be relying on him a lot if they're to progress deep into the competition.

Lionel Messi stresses that Argentina were superior to Iceland in their World Cup opener and deserved to get more out of the Group D opener than a 1-1 draw.

Iceland was indebted to Halldorsson for picking up a point, though, as he kept out Messi's spot-kick shortly after the hour mark.

Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson revealed the lengths he took to ensure he was best-placed to stop Messi's spot-kick.

He went equally nuts when Finnbogason's equalizer went in.

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Alfred Finnbogasson scored Iceland's first ever World Cup goal.

After becoming the surprise package at UEFA Euro 2016, Iceland followed up their success by becoming the smallest nation to qualify for a World Cup.

Argentina who were the favourites in Group D ahead of Croatia, Nigeria and Iceland will consider this an upset as they failed to snatch full points. That gives us all a few days to replace the blown-out speakers on our laptops.

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli refused to blame Lionel Messi for a "frustrating" draw with World Cup debutants Iceland on Saturday after he missed a penalty, backing his star man to deliver.

Everything ran through Messi for a majority of the game but Argentina struggled to break down a resolute and disciplined Iceland side, with the Barcelona man recording 11 shots during the 90 minutes to no avail.

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Wearing a bracelet on his right wrist with the words "Life Is Now" spelled out in beads in Icelandic, Gunnarsson said he didn't get to sleep until around four o'clock in the morning after his country's superb World Cup debut.

'We really felt we were in a complicated group and we knew it would be a hard game'. I say 'just wait and see when we win a game.' That is going to be a celebration!'

The match featured two first-half goals and the second half turned out goalless for both the teams.

"This is a must-win game for Nigeria, and that makes it a little bit psychologically different, they have to win", Hallgrimsson said of Friday's match, adding that he expects the group to be tense.

There were signs of trouble for Argentina's defence to come, when a poor Willy Caballero clearance came straight to Birkir Bjarnason, who drilled wide of the post.

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