Wednesday 12 December 2018

Lionel Messi breaks silence following penalty miss in Argentina's draw with Iceland

Argentina's Lionel Messi looks dejected after the match
Argentina's Lionel Messi looks dejected after the match

Jack Austin

Lionel Messi has admitted his “hurt” after missing a decisive penalty that would have seen Argentina snatch victory over Iceland on Sunday.

All eyes were on the Barcelona star to see how he would react following his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning hat-trick to salvage a draw against Spain in Portugal’s opening game on Friday night, but Messi failed to deliver as the all-to-familiar Argentina reared its ugly head.

Disorganised in attack and shaky in defence, Iceland quickly erased Sergio Aguero’s opener, before Maximiliano Meza was brought down, leaving Messi to do the honours from the spot kick.

However, his penalty was saved and try as he did to make amends from thereon after, he couldn’t find a way to penetrate the Wall of Ice in front of him.

“It would have changed the script. It was the advantage,” he said. “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. We will try to pass this quickly.”

Messi added his frustration that Iceland “did not want to play” but admitted they “closed well” whenever he had the ball.

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