Barcelona and Argentine Talisman, Lionel Messi scored a first-half double as Argentina warmed up for the Copa America with a comprehensive 5-1 win over Nicaragua on Friday in San Juan. The Central Americans, who will participate in this month’s Gold Cup tournament while Argentina battle it out in Brazil, frustrated the home side initially.
However, captain Messi sparked his side into action in their only warm-up match ahead of the tournament, expertly opening the scoring on 37 minutes before grabbing another just 96 seconds later.
Lautaro Martinez, the Inter Milan forward, also scored twice, coming off the substitutes bench at half-time to give coach Lionel Scaloni food for thought ahead of the opening match with Colombia on June 15.
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
Scaloni withdrew key men Messi and Aguero at half-time, which allowed Martinez, 21, to impress with a well taken efforts on 63 and 72 minutes. Watford’s Roberto Pereyra made it five with nine minutes remaining while Nicaragua’s deserved consolation came through Juan Barrera’s late penalty.
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