Aston Villa’s Birkir Bjarnason and Bristol City’s Hordur Magnusson were able to hold Lionel Messi and Argentina to a 1-1 draw in today’s FIFA World Cup fixture.
Today was a historic day as Iceland prepared to play in their first ever World Cup match. And they were going to get a baptism of fire as they prepared to face Argentina with Lionel Messi surely fired up after seeing his legendary rival Cristiano Ronaldo score a hat trick against Spain the previous night. Bjarnason and Magnusson were representing the EFL in this fixture with Reading’s Jon Dadi Bodvarsson being an unused substitute.
To begin with, it seemed like it was going to be business as usual. Iceland’s defense was resilient for a while but eventually they were broken through with Sergio Aguero being able to turn in the box and finish emphatically for the opener. It was easy to wonder how Iceland were going to get back into this match.
But the pundits prediction that Argentina’s defence was a weak point came true not so long later. They were given multiple chances to clear and the ball would eventually fall to the feet of Augsburg’s Alfred Finnbogason who duly finished to send the Icelandic hordes in Russia and at home crazy.
However it wasn’t an easy ride to this historic draw. Bristol City’s Magnusson would get tangled with Aguero with a spot kick being given, handing Lionel Messi a chance to score. Messi had been unusually poor in this game up until this with Iceland doing a good job of keeping him quiet. But when all the world thought he was about to score, Hannes Halldorsson, a man who before now was known for making a video for a Eurovision act, saved the surprisingly weak spot kick.
Argentina piled on after this but despite all of their effort, Iceland were able to hold on and get a stunning draw.