Plucky Iceland holds Argentina 1-1 at halftime

Argentina's Lionel Messi Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero

Lionel Messi's hat-trick against Haiti means he now has 64 goals from 124 internationals

Just as easy as Ronaldo forgot about his dismal night two years ago in France, it's easy to forget Messi walked away from worldwide football around the same time. Yesterday Cristiano Ronaldo wowed critics with a hat trick performance against Spain, with the game all but under wraps, his third goal coming in the 88th minute to secure the draw.

Haldorsson's second-half penalty save earned his team a 1-1 draw in their 2018 World Cup opener.

Sergio Aguero scored an eye-catching opener for the two-time world champions in the 19th minute but it was nearly immediately cancelled out by Alfred Finnbogason, whose team then held on in the face of huge pressure.

As so often after a breathless first 45, the second half started slowly. Both teams jockeyed for possessions, until halftime presided with both teams looking ahead carte blanche.

Halldorsson saves Messi's penalty.

Argentina had pulled out of the pre-World Cup match against Isreal owing to rising protests and threats from Palestinians for the venue for the game was changed to Jerusalem from Haifa. It might also be pointed out that when Iceland drew 1-1 with Portugal at Euro 2016, Ronaldo had 10 shots and did not score; here Messi had 11 and also did not score.

Watch and find out.

Wearing a bracelet on his right wrist with the words "Life Is Now" spelled out in beads in Icelandic, Gunnarsson said he didn't get to sleep until around four o'clock in the morning after his country's superb World Cup debut. But they actually created few chances either side of Messi's poorly-struck 64th-minute penalty.

Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson revealed the lengths he took to ensure he was best-placed to stop Messi's spot-kick.

"I tried to get in their minds, so they'd be thinking about me".

Poulsen punished that miss in the 59th minute as Eriksen sucked in two defenders before playing him in to score what turned out to be the only goal of a pulsating, high-tempo match, despite Peru going close on several occasions late on.

"I looked at a lot of penalties from Messi and had a good feeling that he would go this way today".

"We aimed for the win, but we failed as we scored a fast goal and the Icelanders tied the score", Messi told journalists after the game. Birkir Bjarnason had already sidefooted narrowly wide as a deflected cross scooted untended across the box, and the Alfred Finnbogason equalizer came after Argentina had three times failed to clear balls fired across the box. But they were massively outnumbered in the 45,000-capacity stadium by Argentina fans, and Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson did not understand why.

While Argentina controlled the ball for large stretches, they held steady at the back, and with 20 minutes remaining the situation was summed up when Banega curled a hopeful, rather than risky, shot towards the 'keeper from outside the box.

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