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International friendlies: Argentina brush aside Iraq 4-0 despite Lionel Messi's absence from ranks

Riyadh: Argentina shrugged off the absence of Lionel Messi as a second-string team eased past Iraq 4-0 in an international friendly in Riyadh on Thursday.

Interim coach Lionel Scaloni used the match to blood a host of new talent with goalkeeper Sergio Romero, defender Ramiro Funes Mori and striker Paulo Dybala the only experienced players in the line-up.

Argentina's Lautaro Martinez (centre) celebrates his goal with teammates. AFP

Argentina's Lautaro Martinez (centre) celebrates his goal with teammates. AFP

Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez opened the scoring in the 18th minute with a near-post header from a left wing cross by Marcos Acuna.

Roberto Pereyra grabbed the second in the 53rd minute when the Watford player finished off a smart one-two with Dybala.

Fiorentina defender German Pezzella headed the third goal from a corner past over-worked Iraq goalkeeper Jalal Hassan with Franco Cervi breaking through the defence for the fourth goal in stoppage time.

Argentina will face traditional rivals Brazil, also in Saudi Arabia next Tuesday.

Brazil, meanwhile, face the Saudis on Friday.


Updated Date: Oct 12, 2018 09:05 AM

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