Lionel Messi powered Argentina past Nicaragua in an worldwide friendly on Friday, netting a pair of goals in a commanding 5-1 victory. Messi grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and sparked his side into action by netting the opener in the 37th minute.
Messi scored twice in two first-half minutes before coming off at half time to allow Argentine to give minutes to everyone ahead of the start of the Copa America this month.More news: Ubisoft officially announces new Rainbow Six Quarantine, coming out in early 2020
Lionel Messi famously retired from International Football after Argentina's Copa America 2016 defeat, only to return the following year to help them qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018. With Brazil's Neymar ruled out of the tournament because of injury, Argentina are starting this tournament as one of the favourites.
Early on in Friday's first meeting between Argentina and Nicaragua, Scaloni's team failed to inspire in front of a sell-out crowd of 25,000 at San Juan del Bicentenario stadium in San Juan, Argentina.More news: Watch Dogs Legion shows an oppressive London in awesome new gameplay
A minute later, Sergio Aguero's shot from a tight angle was parried clear by Lorente only for Messi to slide in the rebound.
Lautaro Martinez came off the bench and scored a second-half brace against the Central American visitor, while Roberto Pereyra added a fifth late on before Nicaragua's Juan Barrera converted a 91st-minute penalty to put a blemish on Argentina's performance.More news: Rain delays Bangladesh-Sri Lanka World Cup 2019 match
Argentina play Colombia in Salvador before taking on Paraguay and Asian champions Qatar in Group B.