Hong Kong vs Argentina match report: Lionel Messsi comes off the bench to score two goals

Hong Kong 0 Argentina 7

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The Independent Football

Lionel Messi rose from the bench to score two goals and provide another as Argentina dominated Hong Kong in a friendly.

The Barcelona man could not quite get one over on team-mate Neymar, who scored all four for Brazil against Japan, but managed to have a hand in three goals in just half an hour on the pitch.

Gerardo Martino named a largely experimental side for the game, with Manchester City's Pablo Zabaleta and Manchester United's Angel Di Maria both on the bench.

Zabaleta's City team-mate Sergio Aguero and Tottenham's Erik Lamela were both unused substitutes.

Sunderland defender Santiago Vergini did play the entire 90 minutes.

Ever Banega started the scoring on 19 minutes before Gonzalo Higuain scored one of two goals on 42 minutes. Nicolas Gaitan scored just before half-time and Higuain then netted again on 54 minutes.

Messi was introduced with an hour played and struck just six minutes later, dinking Banega's pass over Yapp Hung Fai, before setting up Gaitan's second on 72 minutes.

He then rounded off the scoring with a wonderful solo effort, evading three players before stroking the ball into the bottom corner.


He also signed a shirt for a pitch invader.