Argentina superstar Lionel Messi has spoken of his ‘bitterness’ and ‘disappointment’ of not being able to beat a resolute Iceland team and revealed his pain at missing the penalty which could have changed the outcome of the game.
The pressure was on the Barcelona star after Cristiano Ronaldo’s heroics against Spain and Messi was handed the chance to restore Argentina’s lead with a 64th-minute penalty after Sergio Aguero put Argentina in the lead before Alfred Finnbogason equalised from close-range.
However, surprisingly Messi saw his effort saved low down to the left by Iceland’s goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson and Iceland clung on for victory despite Argentina having chances to win the game.
The maestro has missed the last four of seven penalties for club and country and he spoke of his sadness of missing from the spot but takes full responsibility.
As reported by Sky Sports, he said: “It would have changed the script. It was the advantage.”
“Obviously it hurts me to have missed the penalty. They would have opened a little more and we could have found more spaces. I feel responsible for not having been able to take the three points. I have no doubt that a goal from the penalty kick would have changed everything.”
However, he also took a dig at Iceland’s tactics and said they only resorted to long throws and did ‘nothing’ to win.
“Iceland practically did nothing,” he continued, as reported by the Metro.
“All they did was defend and attack with nothing but long throw-ins. I think we deserved to win the game, but there are some positives that we can take beyond the result.
“We leave with a feeling of bitterness and anger. I feel responsible for not being able to take the three points. With the penalty we could have done.”
The next game will be crucial in the so-called ‘Group of Death’ with Argentina facing a tough game against group leaders Croatia, who beat Nigeria 2-0 in their opening match to top the group.