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USA | Sep 27, 2022

Messi comes off the bench to notch double as Argentina beat Reggae Boyz

/ Our Today

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Argentina forward Lionel Messi (10) scores a goal on a penalty kick during the second half against Jamaica at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, United States. (Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

(Reuters)

Second-half substitute Lionel Messi scored two late goals as Argentina beat Jamaica 3-0 in a World Cup warm-up in New Jersey tonight (September 27).

Argentina took the lead in the 13th minute when Lautaro Martinez dribbled past Jamaican defenders in the box before finding Julian Alvarez, who coolly tapped the ball home.

Argentina forward Lionel Messi (10) celebrates his goal against Jamaica during the second half at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, United States. (Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

The loss made for a disappointing start to new Reggae Boyz coach Heimir Hallgrimsson’s stint after his appointment two weeks ago.

Messi was reported to be suffering flu-like symptoms before the match and came off the bench in the 56th minute, scoring his first when he drove past several defenders and hammered home with four minutes remaining.

Argentina forward Lionel Messi (10) plays the ball against Jamaica forward Dameon Lowe (17) during the second half at Red Bull Arena. (Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

He added his second from a free kick three minutes later to extend Argentina’s unbeaten streak to 35 matches.

One fan came onto the pitch late on and Messi signed the shirtless intruder’s back before he was hauled away by security.

Argentina forward Lionel Messi (10) celebrates his second goal of the match against Argentina during the second half at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, United States. (Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Messi, who also scored twice in a 3-0 win over Honduras in Miami on Friday, is looking to lead Argentina to their third World Cup title and first since 1986.

They have one more tune-up against United Arab Emirates on November 16 before they begin their World Cup campaign against Saudi Arabia on November 22.

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