“The Argentina vs. Iceland match showed how much [Argentine star Lionel] Messi’s game suffered from missing the training game against Israel,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman twitted on Saturday, following Iceland’s stunning tie against one of the favorite teams to win the World Cup this year, Argentina.

“A tip of the hat to Iceland, a small country with 350,000 residents and a huge team,” Liberman added.


Lionel Messi himself, the main actor in the brouhaha earlier this month which resulted in the cancellation of a friendly match between Argentina and Israel in Jerusalem, said he was personally responsible for Argentina’s failure defeat Iceland, when he was awarded an 11 yard penalty kick in minute 64, but his shot was easily deflected by goalie Hannes Halldorsson.

“It hurts me to have missed the penalty, because it was the decisive advantage,” Messi said after the game. “I feel responsible for not having been able to take the three points. I have no doubt that a goal from the penalty kick would have changed everything.”

Argentina, which plays in Group D, will be playing against Croatia and Nigeria next.

In Argentina’s 8 games against Nigeria, the African team has won twice, tied once and lost 5.

Argentina has played 4 games against Croatia, won two, lost one and tied one.