World Cup: Iceland goalie stops Lionel Messi penalty kick

June 16 (UPI) — Soccer superstar Lionel Messi was denied by the goalkeeper on a chance to take the lead for Argentina in its World Cup opener against Iceland Saturday in Moscow.

Messi’s miss came in the 64th minute. Maximiliano Meza was making a far post run to set up the penalty kick. Messi fired in a swinging pass, leading his teammate toward the goal. But Meza was clipped by Iceland defender Hordur Magnusson. Referees called a penalty in the box for the infraction.

Messi then stepped up to the line, attempting to give Argentina a 2-1 lead.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner and FC Barcelona star took a left footed attempt and shot to the left side of the goal. But Iceland keeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson read it all the way. The 6-foot-4 net minder lunged to his right, blocking Messi’s shot. The ball bounced out to Ever Banega after the miss, but he was unable to put it on target, as the Iceland defense cleared the danger.

Sergio Aguero gave Argentina a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute before Alfredo Finnbogason scored the first World Cup goal in Iceland history in the 23rd minute.

Iceland and Argentina were still tied at 1-1 in the 85th minute of the Group D clash.

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