Iceland continued its miraculous run of worldwide football on Saturday, holding on for a 1-1 draw against Argentina its first match at the 2018 World Cup.
Peru's return to the top table after 36 years in the World Cup wilderness proved to be an unhappy one, losing 1-0 to Denmark and also missing a spot-kick.
Halldorsson was the hero when he palmed away Messi's spot kick in the 63rd minute, correctly gambling that the Barcelona talisman would shoot to his right.
But the Barcelona ace's lackluster record on penalties continued, as he stepped up and fired a weak shot at the ideal height and velocity to gift Iceland keeper Hannes Halldorsson an easy save.
True to form, Iceland fought back and Finnbogason netted the equaliser four minutes later, pouncing after Argentine keeper Willy Caballero parried Gylfi Sigurdsson's shot for a classic poacher's goal.
But they only qualified for Russian Federation thanks to a win in their final qualifier against Ecuador and scored 19 goals in 18 games, the lowest by any South American qualifier since the single-group format was adopted in the mid-1990s. "We're 22nd in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings and won our group in qualifying".
Argentina legend Diego Maradona posted on Instagram after the game: "I started la World Cup with a loss, not a tie". He said. "I tried to get in their minds, so they'd be thinking about me". "They were defending, their only chances to score were from a set piece or looking for the second play".
Argentina who were the favourites in Group D ahead of Croatia, Nigeria and Iceland will consider this an upset as they failed to snatch full points.
Arab Israeli lawmaker Ahmed Tibi also linked the miss to the withdrawal from the Israel game, tweeting a poll asking "Who was happier that Messi missed his penalty today?"
Here's how to watch Argentina vs. Iceland online. In that moment, going to the screen, I saw him standing there, the body language showed he didn't know, and then he had to make a decision between France or Australia.
Iceland's next opponents are Nigeria in Volgograd on Friday.
If we go one-on-one around the pitch, you don't need to ask who will win that game. There were too many attempts to pass the ball through the eye of not just one needle but several at the edge of the box, even after Ever Banega had come on for Lucas Biglia and the shape had become more like the 2-3-3-2 Sampaoli had promised.