Lionel Messi scored twice as Argentina dominated Honduras 3-0 in Miami on Friday as the World Cup-bound side continued to improve ahead of the upcoming internationals in Qatar.
Messi was at the center of the action from the opening whistle, tapping a pass to the charging Pappu Gomes, who slotted past Lautaro Martinez for an early 1-0 lead.
Messi, 35, was fouled in the 39th minute when Honduras’ Teiby Flores tackled him, sending him face down on the ground and receiving a yellow card.
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Messi’s teammates immediately fell on the Honduran players’ faces and the teams exchanged words, but stopped short of trading blows. The Argentina captain was in the game.
At the end of the half Marcelo Santos fouled Argentina’s Giovanni Lo Celso and Messi converted the penalty to make it 2-0.
The second half saw Argentina extend their unbeaten run to 34 matches.
Enzo Fernandez stole the ball in the 69th minute and it fell right to Messi, who chipped it over the goalkeeper’s head to the delight of the partisan crowd at Hard Rock Stadium.
Determined to continue putting on a show for his fans, Messi attempted a difficult diving shot in the waning minutes of the match, but it missed the target. Nevertheless, the crowd applauded.
Next up for Argentina is another friendly, this time in New Jersey against Jamaica on Tuesday.