THE PAVILIONS PHUKET EPL Prediction Competition 2018-2019 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.

Central 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
Weapons, ammunition found in vehicle of man shot dead by Phuket police

Well done police...one more lawless social menace off the streets for good....(Read More)


Phuket man, 29, shot dead while fleeing police

Got to agree with Kurt, how was he fleeing if he was sat in his car and a police officer could shoot...(Read More)


Phuket-bound mules busted with 780kg of kratom

Daring/bluffing ones sometimes own 'half the world'. But not always. We read about arrests ...(Read More)


Phuket mops up after storm lashes island, plunges businesses into darkness

Winds about 46 km/h are not seen as 'heavy storm' meteo-wise. Wind Speed 39-49 km/h is just ...(Read More)


Phuket man, 29, shot dead while fleeing police

Shot dead sitting in car while fleeing police? Excuse me, do I miss something? He was not a immedi...(Read More)


Tour bus brakes fail on Patong Hill

See if Bill Murray will come to the Patong hill to do a remake of 'Groundhog Day'....(Read More)


Phuket-bound mules busted with 780kg of kratom

That is a ridiculous load to try to sneak past the checkpoint. However, I do remember stories about ...(Read More)


Phuket mops up after storm lashes island, plunges businesses into darkness

Wow. Poor design, construction? No inspections by engineers? First storm after grand opening. Winds ...(Read More)


223 monkeys caught in Phuket mass-sterilisation Round 2, 162 sterilised so far

I understand that it are private institutions like Soi Dog Foundation ( running on donations) doing ...(Read More)


Royal Turf Club runs its last race

Can't imagine world wide a Turf club without gambling. After all, gambling brings in the money ...(Read More)


 

Melbourne Cup 2018