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Messi scores twice as Argentina routs Nicaragua

11 June 2019

Lionel Messi powered Argentina past Nicaragua in an worldwide friendly on Friday, netting a pair of goals in a commanding 5-1 victory.

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the first goal against Nicaragua June 7, 2019.

Barcelona star Messi struck twice before half-time as his side continued their preparations for the Copa America later this month, with Lautaro Martinez also scoring a double.

Scaloni, brought in after Jorge Sampaoli was sacked following a disastrous showing at the World Cup last summer, is aiming to build a younger team and end Argentina's 26-year wait for a trophy. Argentina were runners-up on both occasions when the tournament was conducted previously - 2015 and 2016 - they lost to Chile in both finals.

However, Argentina will hope that Messi is in full flow in the Copa America to help the South Americans win the coveted title.

A minute later, Sergio Aguero's shot from a tight angle was parried clear by Lorente only for Messi to slide in the rebound.

River Plate's Matias Suarez had a shot pushed onto the post by visiting keeper Justo Lorente on 26 minutes but the two time World Champions were being made to work hard for openings. Inter Milan's Martinez, who came on with Paulo Dybala after Messi and Aguero were withdrawn at half-time, added his two before another substitute, Roberto Pereyra, tapped in a late fifth.

Coming up next for Argentina is their Copa America campaign, which they will begin by facing James Rodriguez' Colombia in Salvador on June 15.

Messi scores twice as Argentina routs Nicaragua