Lionel Messi missed the penalty as Argentina drew 1-1 against Iceland in their first match of Group D.
The Argentine captain says that “it hurts” that he missed the penalty against Iceland in their first game of FIFA World Cup. The 30-year old’s shot was easily stopped by Iceland’s goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson, as the match resulted in a 1-1 draw.
Messi’s penalty miss was also significant among the social media and pundits alike as Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick a day before to salvage a draw for Portugal against Spain.
“It would have changed the script. It was the advantage,” Messi said after the game.
Obviously it hurts me to have missed the penalty. They would have opened a little more and we could have found more spaces. We have the bitterness of not being able to take the three points that we deserved. To start with winning is always important, now we have to think about Croatia,” the Argentina captain stated after the match.
“We will try to pass this quickly,” Messi added.
Messi said Iceland’s tactics made it hard for his side, claiming “they did not want to play”.
Lionel Messi has now missed four of his last seven penalties with club and country combined. Messi also missed 11 chances in the game, which is the most for him in a world cup game.
Argentina’s manager, Jorge Sampaoli, however, praised Messi’s attitude throughout the game, saying, “Iceland played very defensively, blocking all spaces but we did everything we could to win. Leo is very committed to Argentina.”
“We always come to win so that’s why there is a certain amount of frustration,” the manager added.
Argentina will play their next game against Croatia on Thursday. Croatia beat Nigeria later on the same day 2-0, with Real Madrid star Luka Modric shining for the team.