Iceland snatches victory in 1-1 draw with Argentina
‘Iceland beats Argentina 1-1.’
That’s how the play-by-play on the Fox FOX, +0.32% telecast of Saturday’s group-stage World Cup match in Moscow between perennial soccer power Argentina, led by the legendary Lionel Messi, described the match’s shock outcome.
After Iceland responded to an early goal by Argentina’s Sergio Aguëo with a first-half goal of its own, by Alfreð Finnbogason, Messi missed a second-half penalty that would have given Argentina its second lead of the match and, likely, a narrow win.
The broadcast call was a conscious reference to a famous showdown a half-century ago between Ivy League archrivals Harvard and Yale. Yale, like Argentina against Iceland on Saturday in the Russian capital, was considered a prohibitive favorite. When Harvard managed a tie, it was heralded as a virtual victory. A headline — and, decades later, a documentary title — read: “Harvard Beats Yale 29-29.”
The Icelandic team, representing a nation whose total population barely exceeds 300,000 but which made great strides two summers ago toward elite status in world football by vastly outperforming expectations at the UEFA European Championship tournament, celebrated on the field at Spartak Stadium long after the match.
On Twitter TWTR, -2.05% some appreciated the on-air nod to sporting history, while others were left puzzled:
“Iceland beats Argentina 1-1!” Great line #WorldCup18
— Funky Cold Mattina (@FunkyColdMatina) June 16, 2018
Fox: Iceland beats Argentina#ARGvsISL pic.twitter.com/D5cyr1m5Xy
— Nope. (@rasvargas) June 16, 2018
Tim Rostan is a MarketWatch managing editor based in Chicago.
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