Belfast Telegraph

Leo will leave sore spot behind

By Steven Davis

Anyone can miss a penalty. When it is Lionel Messi, though, it becomes a major story.

Virtually everyone on the planet would have expected him to put his spot-kick away for Argentina against Iceland in their opening group game but Hannes Halldorsson made an important save.

The miss caused even more of a stir because Argentina didn't win the game, with a lot of the post-match talk about whether Messi would make a massive impact on the tournament after entering it as the star man. I certainly wouldn't be writing him or Argentina off just because of one result or one penalty miss. I have no doubt that Messi will show his quality in this tournament.

I think we should also give some credit to Iceland for that 1-1 draw.

I was delighted for them because, like Northern Ireland, they are a small nation punching above their weight.

They were determined to put a marker down in the World Cup and have carried on from what they did a couple of years ago in the Euros.

Belfast Telegraph

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