Argentina routs Iraq 4-0 despite Messi's absence

Argentina's German Pezzella celebrates scoring his side's third goal during a friendly soccer match between Argentina and Iraq at Prince Faisal bin Fahd stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo)

Argentina has thrashed Iraq 4-0 in a friendly with goals from Lautaro Martinez, Roberto Pereyra, German Pezzella and Franco Cervi

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Argentina, without star striker Lionel Messi, thrashed Iraq 4-0 in a friendly on Thursday with goals from Lautaro Martinez, Roberto Pereyra, German Pezzella and Franco Cervi.

Inter Milan forward Martinez struck his first goal for his country to give Argentina the lead in the 18th minute at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd stadium.

Pereyra added the second goal in the 53rd before Pezzella and Cervi struck in the final eight minutes.

The friendly marked the return of goalkeeper Sergio Romero, who was forced out of the 2018 World Cup with a knee injury.

Coach Lionel Scaloni said last month that Barcelona forward Messi, 31, would not be called upon for Argentina's brief tour of Saudi Arabia.

Scaloni added that he wanted to focus on blooding younger players.

"I stressed our will to win the match, to attack non-stop and to keep scoring goals," he said after Thursday's game. "It was a good test, we are happy with it."

Argentina next meets arch rival Brazil at the King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah on Tuesday.

"We will park the bus, defend," Scaloni joked. "Actually we want to play well, fight for it, no doubt."

___  

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Related News

Bangladesh reaches dominant 250-2 at tea against...

Jan 31, 2018

Mominul Haque hit 103 ball-107 not out as Bangladesh reached a dominant 250-2 at tea on the first...

Bangladesh takes upper-hand against Sri Lanka

Jan 31, 2018

Mominul Haque hit 175 not out as Bangladesh took the upper-hand in the first test against Sri Lanka...

De Silva's 104 not out leads Sri Lanka reply vs...

Feb 1, 2018

Dhananjaya de Silva scored 104 not out as Sri Lanka made a strong reply after dismissing Bangladesh...

Mendis and de Silva bat Sri Lanka to 504-3 in 1st...

Feb 2, 2018

Opener Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva have hit career-best centuries as Sri Lanka has reached...

Sri Lanka eyes final-day win with 713-9;...

Feb 3, 2018

Sri Lanka set up a potential final-day victory in the first test against Bangladesh after smashing...

Mominul makes history with second century in...

Feb 4, 2018

Mominul Haque became the first Bangladesh player to score centuries in both innings of a test as...

About Us

We’re all about evolving the love of sports. With The Sport Ship, you can up your game and receive all the latest news about the sports world before anyone else.

Contact us: sales[at]thesportship.com

Subscribe Now!