FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Messi misery as Iceland hold Argentina, France down Australia

FOOTBALL: Lionel Messi fluffed his World Cup lines yesterday (June 16), missing a penalty as Iceland held Argentina to a 1-1 draw after France benefited from the first use of the Video Assistant Referee system in tournament history to grind out a victory over Australia.

Football
By AFP

Sunday 17 June 2018, 01:23PM


Lionel Messi threw away the chance to give Argentina an opening win. Photo: AFP

Lionel Messi threw away the chance to give Argentina an opening win. Photo: AFP

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 write his 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 in their debut at a World Cup finals.

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.

A downcast Messi spoke of his disappointment at the penalty miss.

“There is a bitterness of not being able to give the team all three points because I think we deserved it,” the Barcelona icon said.

Messi is yet to win a major international tournament and time is running out with his 31st birthday looming.

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.

VAR steps in

In the first match of the day, France launched their World Cup campaign with a hard-fought win against Australia as VAR was used for the first time at a World Cup.

The Group C match in Kazan was goalless when Antoine Griezmann went down after a tackle in the second half. Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha did not award a penalty but after viewing the VAR footage, ruled it was a spot-kick and Griezmann gave France a 1-0 lead.

Minutes later the Socceroos drew level through a penalty of their own, although this time it was awarded by the referee, with Mile Jedinak coolly beating Hugo Lloris.

But Paul Pogba won a tight match for the 1998 champions when his shot bounced over the line off the crossbar in the 81st minute.

VAR has been used to varying degrees of success in Serie A and the German Bundesliga, while FIFA used the system at the Confederations Cup in Russia last year.

“Luckily for us the system was there,” Griezmann said. “When the referee went to see the video, I thought it was a penalty. I was already thinking about how I would take it.”

France coach Didier Deschamps said the Euro 2016 finalists must improve.

QSI International School Phuket

“It’s the World Cup, it’s the first match. But, yes, we must do better, and we can do better,” he said.

In the day’s later games, Denmark broke Peru’s hearts as the South American country made their first appearance in the finals since 1982.

Peruvian fans have arrived in Russia in droves to celebrate their return to the sporting spectacle, but were left crestfallen after Yussuf Poulsen’s second-half goal secured a 1-0 win for the Danes in Group C.

Midfielder Christian Cueva missed a penalty for Los Incas to compound their misery.

“We had an enormous amount of fans and it was sad they came so far to see us lose, they deserved at least a draw,” said Peru coach Ricardo Gareca.

“We didn't deserve to lose, but we can’t cry over spilt milk.”

Meanwhile in Group D, Croatia took advantage of Argentina's slip against Iceland to record a comfortable 2-0 win over Nigeria.

A penalty from Real Madrid star Luka Modric and an own goal from Oghenekaro Etebo secured the points for the Croatians in Kaliningrad, sending them to the top of the standings.

Croatia face Argentina in their second group game.

“It’s going to be a very difficult match,” Modric said afterwards. “They have huge amounts of quality, but this win will really boost our confidence and we are going to up our game.”


Follow the World Cup with The Phuket News

Keep up to date with all the FIFA World Cup results and group standings by following The Phuket News by clicking here.

You can also get a free printable copy of The Phuket News World Cup wallchart via the link.

 Best of luck for your home nation!

 

 

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Ugandan females arrested on Bangla Rd for Phuket overstays

Of course they stay longer, RTP hardly ever do their job, most people can see these people working i...(Read More)


Foreign media’s Wild Boar interviews come under fire

It's interesting to see a "psychologist" touting the same societal hang-ups we see her...(Read More)


Live grenade found dumped in roadside rubbish

Anyone surprised? On Phuket, 'We' dump everything at road side. The big question is, how is...(Read More)


Foreign media’s Wild Boar interviews come under fire

"These foreign journalists should be reprimanded" rubbish, no laws have been broken, Thai ...(Read More)


Phuket Governor leads beach cleanup ahead of HM King Birthday

Ah, the 'Clean-Governor' in action again with his prime task on Phuket. Volunteering under r...(Read More)


Phuket-bound bus passenger arrested with almost 20,000 ‘ya bah’ pills

Do they count all the pills, or goes it by kg? Are admirals and generals now doing road block jobs ...(Read More)


Foreign media’s Wild Boar interviews come under fire

Conventions on Children Rights? Thailand never signed any convention of human rights. And,..about ...(Read More)


Ugandan females arrested on Bangla Rd for Phuket overstays

..."They arrive as if on a vacation, but stay longer"... The understatement of the day....(Read More)


Phuket police refuse to confirm or deny bail for Phoenix boat owner

The charges are not alleged, but established facts. And under law, all are innocent until proven gu...(Read More)


Phuket search launched for jet-ski rider missing in storm

If true he can not swim and was not using a life jacket, then it is entirely this man's own faul...(Read More)