Messi saw his spot kick saved by the goalkeeper Hannes Por Halldorsson after Alfred Finnbogason had cancelled out Sergio Aguero’s 19th minute opener against Iceland.
But the miss in the second half was not the reason Argentina failed to defeat Iceland at the World Cup on Saturday, explains Diego Maradona.
“I don’t blame the players,” Maradona told Venezuelan television channel Telesur.
“I could blame the lack of work rate. But I can’t blame the players, much less Messi, who gave it all he had.”
“I missed five penalties on the spin and I was still Diego Armando Maradona. I don’t think that they dropped two points because Messi missed a penalty.”
The Barcelona star has found himself in a tough spot after Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick against Spain the previous night. The Portuguese struck a knockout blow in the opening match against Spain and set a benchmark in the World Cup.
Although Argentina had 73% of the possession and created 3 times more chances than Iceland, somehow the team still couldn’t take the lead. And despite two free kicks by Messi that were turned in by Nicolas Otamnedi, Iceland missed two glorious opportunities to bag the game.
The South Americans will take on Croatia on Thursday before their final group game against Nigeria, where they will get the chance to revive their position in the World Cup.
This World Cup has brought a lot of surprises with intense competition that has kept even the top-rated teams on their toes.
(With inputs from Reuters.)
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