SPORTS Messi guides Argentina to friendly win over Jamaica


Messi guides Argentina to friendly win over Jamaica


12:40, September 28, 2022

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring a goal during the international friendly football match between Argentina and Jamaica at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, on September 27, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

NEW JERSEY, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Lionel Messi struck two late goals as Argentina fine-tuned their 2022 FIFA World Cup preparations with a 3-0 victory over Jamaica here on Tuesday.

Manchester City forward Julian Alvarez put the Albiceleste ahead in the 13th minute at Red Bull Arena when he tapped in from close range after Lautaro Martinez's fine run and cut-back.

Argentina controlled possession but struggled for scoring opportunities against Jamaica's well-organized defense.

That changed following the introduction of Messi from the bench in the 56th minute. The two-time world champions immediately looked more threatening and Messi capitalized on poor defending to double their advantage with a long-range effort in the 86th minute.

The Paris Saint-Germain veteran made it 3-0 three minutes later with a low free-kick from the edge of the 18-yard box that caught goalkeeper Andre Blake off guard.

The South American outfit will have one more chance to test their squad before the World Cup when they meet the United Arab Emirates on November 16. Jamaica did not qualify for the tournament, to be played in Qatar from November 20 to December 18.

Argentina have been drawn in Group C along with Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland.

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