Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson says he “had a feeling” about Lionel Messi’s penalty and revealed he used mind games to save it.
The Argentina forward missed a spot kick in the 63rd minute – spurning the opportunity to put his side 2-1 up – with Halldorsson correctly gambling he would shoot to his right.
Halldorsson, who was named man of the match in Saturday’s 1-1 draw, admits he did his research on the Barcelona man’s penalty history before the game.
“I did some homework because I knew this was a situation that could come up. It was a long shot but it happened,” said Halldorsson.
“I looked at a lot of penalties from Messi and I also looked at how I’ve been behaving during the last couple of penalties.
“I tried to get in their minds, so they’d be thinking about me. I had a good feeling he’d go this way today.”
Halldorsson believes Saturday’s result puts Iceland in a strong position ahead of their remaining Group D matches against Nigeria and Croatia.
“We were playing against one of the best teams in the world, who had the best player in the world,” he said.
“It’s especially important for us because it helped us get a point to reach our goal – to get out of the group.”