Sigurdsson Impresses As Iceland Secure Historic Point

Gylfi Sigurdsson helped Iceland claim a historic first World Cup point as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with two-times winners Argentina on their tournament debut.

Sigurdsson was involved in some of his nation's brightest moments, played a part in their equaliser and threatened with chances of his own. 

Iceland had never previously played a game at a World Cup finals but showed all the endeavour and application that led them to the European Championship quarter-finals two years ago to frustrate Lionel Messi and Co and open their Group D campaign with a memorable point. 

After Sergio Aguero had brilliantly fired Argentina ahead with what was his first ever World Cup goal on 19 minutes, it was Sigurdsson who helped fashion a quick-fire Iceland response.

Picking up the ball on the right-hand side of the box, Everton’s Club-record signing drilled in a cross-shot that goalkeeper Willy Caballero failed to claim under pressure from Birkir Bjarnason, allowing Alfred Finnbogason to sweep home the loose ball and insert himself into Iceland’s sporting history books. 

The Argentines' lead had lasted just four minutes. 

SigurdssonMessi

Sigurdsson forced a fine save from Caballero late in the first half, before firing a volley wide from the edge of the box as, despite being restricted to less than 30 per cent of the possession in the opening 45 minutes, Iceland walked off having created the better chances. 

Aside from their goal, the greatest of those had arguably fallen to Bjarnason at 0-0, but the Aston Villa man fluffed his big moment and drove the ball wide. 

After the break, Iceland were indebted to goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson as he first saved a Messi penalty, before brilliantly turning away a devilish late cross from substitute Cristian Pavon that seemed destined for the far corner of his net.

In between, Iceland were perhaps fortunate to get away with an unheard Argentine penalty claim as Pavon went down in the box under a challenge from Birkir Mar Saevarsson.

It will do nothing to halt the celebrations back in Iceland, however, as the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup finals digest a dogged, disciplined performance that entirely merited a share of the spoils in Moscow.

Iceland will next be in action on Friday when they take on Nigeria in Volgograd, before their final group game takes them to Rostov to face Croatia on Tuesday, June 26.




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