Sport

Messi shines in Argentina win in Copa America warm up

Messi shines in Argentina win in Copa America warm up”

Messi and Aguero were substituted in the second half by their coach Lionel Scaloni, who was appointed as the head coach of Argentina after Jorge Sampaoli was sacked following a disastrous performance at the World Cup.

Lionel Messi's brace helped Argentina wrapped up their Copa America preparations with a 5-1 win over Nicaragua on Friday.

They have now won the Copa America since 1993 but are hopeful this could be their year after losing in the last two finals against Chile.

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Martinez came off the bench to grab a brace of his own as Argentina romped to victory at San Juan del Bicentenario stadium in San Juan.

Nicaragua, however, were defending well while regularly asserting their physicality ― Messi was twice hauled down in the opening half hour ― to frustrate Argentina and their supporters.

Messi, however, is a danger for any team and his brilliant run and finish saw the Barcelona star beat three defenders before clinically finishing past Lorente. Messi doubles his side lead a minutes later after Sergio Agüero's shot is deflected to the Barcelona man, and makes a simple finish with two goals in a span of minutes before the Argentina skipper he was replace by Juventus forward Paulo Dybala eight minutes later.

Nicaragua's Juan Barrera netted a penalty in the first minute of injury time (90 + 1′) and that offered some consolation to the visitors.

Messi and Argentina will face Colombia, Paraguay and Qatar in the group stages of the tournament held in Brazil.



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