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Stunning Messi goal helps Argentina thump Mexico
SAN DIEGO, California - Lionel Messi scored a stunning first-half goal to help Argentina to a 4-1 demolition of Mexico in a friendly match on Wednesday.
Defender Nicolas Burdisso, midfielder Maxi Rodriguez and Messi's strike partner Sergio Aguero were also on target in an impressive Argentina performance.
Antonio Naelson replied for Mexico, who were watched in the stands by newly-appointed coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.
The former England coach, who will take over following the preliminary World Cup qualifier against Belize later this month, was given plenty to worry about as the Mexicans, under caretaker Jesus Ramirez, shipped three goals in the first half hour.
Messi's 18th minute goal, Argentina's second, followed a mesmerising exchange of passes around the edge of the Mexican area which ended with Maxi Rodriguez finding Julio Cruz on the left.
Cruz rolled a low passes across the penalty area, Aguero dummied cleverly and Messi nonchalantly side-footed the ball into the corner.
Argentina had taken the lead in the 10th minute when the Mexican defence failed to clear Rodriguez's free kick and Burdisso, unmarked at the far post, scored easily.
Rodriguez added the third on the half hour with an opportunist effort, sliding the ball into the net from an acute angle after the Mexican defence were slow to clear a loose ball.
Brazilian-born Naelson pulled one back for Mexico in the 63rd minute with a well-placed shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Argentina regained their three-goal lead eight minutes later when Messi, faced by four Mexican defenders, still managed to find a gap to thread a pass to Aguero, who stroked a low shot past a bewildered Oswaldo Sanchez.
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