Lionel Messi scores three goals as he leads Argentina to an entertaining 4-3 victory over South American rivals Brazil in a friendly in the United States.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES (JUNE 9, 2012) (KENTARO) -Lionel Messi scored three superb goals as Argentina beat old rivals Brazil 4-3 in a friendly match in New Jersey on Saturday (June 9).
Brazil took the lead after 23 minutes when Romulo timed his run to beat the offside trap and run onto a Neymar freekick before turning the ball past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
But Messi struck in the 31st minute, running onto a Gonzalo Higuain through ball before slotting a low shot past shot Rafael Cabral in the Brazil goal.
The Barcelona star then made it 2-1 to Argentina, exchanging passes with Angel Di Maria before racing through on goal three minutes later and rounding Cabral before tucking the ball in from a narrow angle.
Brazil came back 11 minutes into the second half when Leandro Damiao teed up Oscar who clipped his shot past Romero for the equaliser.
Hulk made it 3-2 after 72 minutes when the 'keeper fumbled a corner and the Brazilian striker drilled a first time shot into the back of the net from close range.
But Federico Fernandez headed a corner in off the post in the 76th minute to level for Argentina before Messi produced a piece of brilliance to win the match, cutting in from the byline and swerving an unstoppable shot into the Brazilian net after 85 minutes.
But the match ended on a sour note with Brazil's Marcelo and Argentina's Ezequiel Lavezzi getting red cards for a clash in injury time.