Gylfi Sigurdsson hailed defiant Iceland’s dogged defensive showing on their World Cup debut - and then targeted escaping “the toughest group in the competition”.
Sigurdsson was heavily involved in Alfred Finnbogason’s equaliser on Saturday as Iceland came from behind to earn a momentous 1-1 draw with two-times winners Argentina.
It was the country’s first ever World Cup match, having become the smallest nation to reach the finals when finishing top of their European qualification group last October.
The Euro 2016 quarter-finalists now face Nigeria in Volgograd on Friday, before completing their Group D campaign against Croatia in Rostov on Tuesday, June 26.
And while he knows Iceland face two tough tests, Sigurdsson says their good start has given them every chance of journeying on to the last 16.
“We know we’re going to have to win a game if we want to qualify for next stage,” said Sigurdsson.
“If it’s going to be against Nigeria or Croatia, I really don’t care.
“This is probably the toughest group in the competition in my opinion so it was fantastic to get a good start, we needed it, and now we’ve got two games to get two good results and hopefully we can achieve something fantastic.”
Argentina took the lead in Moscow when Sergio Aguero brilliantly turned and fired past goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson on 19 minutes.
Sigurdsson’s cross-shot was then fumbled by goalkeeper Willy Caballero four minutes later, allowing Finnbogason to net Iceland’s historic first World Cup goal.
However, it was Halldorsson, a part-time film director, who would prove the script’s hero - the 34-year-old turning away a Lionel Messi penalty on 64 minutes before expertly parrying a late goal-bound cross from substitute Cristian Pavon.
“That [saving Messi’s penalty] is going to be the highlight of his career when he looks back at it,” said an elated Sigurdsson.
“He [Halldorsson] was very good today but I think the whole team defensively was fantastic.
“Even though they created chances - they’re always going to do that with the quality they’ve got - I thought we limited them to half chances.
“It was obviously a fantastic goal from Aguero but I think the team played really well defensively.
“We’re going to have to improve going forward, which we know. But we’ll take the point.
“With them having the ball for probably 90 per cent of the time and us saving a penalty as well, I think we’re probably quite pleased with a point.”