Lionel Messi And Sergio Aguero Star As Argentina Ease To Bolivia Win
Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero both scored twice as Argentina thrashed Bolivia 7-0 in a friendly in Texas on Friday.
The World Cup runners-up fielded a largely second-string side at the BBVA Compass Stadium, with Messi only coming on for the final 20 minutes, but they still proved too strong for Bolivia.
Ezequiel Lavezzi also netted twice in the win while Angel Correa struck Argentina’s seventh on his debut against a Bolivia side under new coach Julio Cesar Baldivieso, who barely had time to prepare them for the match in Houston.
Veteran Bolivia defender Ronald Raldes lent the squad $21,000 of his own money to cover the travel costs to the United States while the Bolivian Football Federation (FBF) is in turmoil over corruption charges against leading officials, Bolivian media reported.
FBF president Carlos Chavez signed the agreement for the match to go ahead from prison, where he has been awaiting trial since his arrest in July, before the organisation sacked him, elected new authorities and appointed Baldivieso last week.
“I’m happy with the intensity with which we played, both the guys who started and those who played part of the game,” said Argentina coach Gerardo Martino.
“It is a good result and helps me form an idea (of my regular team), but nobody will be ruled in or out based on a single game.”
The crowd of 22,126 chanted Messi’s name as soon as he left the dug-out to warm up and Martino told reporters after the game: “It is logical that the people who pay for tickets call for Messi and the organisers of the games want to see him.
“We had to think carefully about him because he has played a lot of games. Luckily, in a short time, he made it worth the price of admission.”
Elsewhere, USA recovered from a goal down to beat Peru 2-1 in Washington, with Jozy Altidore netting twice in the second half.
Uruguay, missing suspended strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, beat Panama 1-0 in Panama City thanks to an 82nd-minute goal by Cristhian Stuani.
Mexico were held 3-3 by Trinidad & Tobago in Salt Lake City, with substitute Hector Herrera salvaging a draw when he equalised four minutes from time.