Eleven shots, no goals – Messi struggles after Ronaldo fireworks
Lionel Messi set an unwanted World Cup record as he saw a penalty saved in Argentina’s World Cup opener against Iceland.
Messi regularly fired efforts at goal during Saturday’s 1-1 Group D draw in Moscow, including a second-half spot-kick that was beaten away by Hannes Thor Halldorsson.
The Barcelona star fired wide late on and had a pair of efforts saved in the first period, but could not find a way through the determined Iceland defence.
Messi had 11 shots during the game – Iceland managed eight – but failed to find the net as Sergio Aguero’s fine strike was cancelled out by Alfred Finnbogason.
It means Messi set a new Argentina record for the highest tally of shots without scoring in a World Cup match since Opta began recording full World Cup data in 1966.
Messi’s struggles were in sharp contrast to the brilliant individual performance of his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portugal captain scoring a hat-trick in a thrilling 3-3 clash with Spain on Friday.
Ronaldo had only four shots during that Group C classic but scored with all three efforts that were on target, a perfect late free-kick following an early penalty and a shot that squirmed away from David de Gea.
Despite the contrasting fortunes of their star players, Argentina and Portugal each have a point to show from their opening fixtures, with work to do to qualify for the World Cup’s knockout rounds.