Messi on the point of scoring his 48th goal for Argentina / @AFA

Argentina made light work of fellow South American outfit Bolivia in Friday’s friendly in Houston. Neither Leo Messi nor Javier Mascherano were included in the starting line-up, although the former came on as a substitute, and immediately made his presence felt.

The game had got off to the prefect start when Ezequiel Lavezzi opened the scoring after just four minutes, with Sergio Agüero and Lavezzi, for a second time, making it 3-0 before the break.

Messi strikes twice

Gerardo Martino made a number of changes at half-time, but the Argentina goals continued to flow. Agüero doubled his own account after 58 minutes, and six minutes later Messi finally came onto the field at the Houston Sports Park and made it 5-0 with practically his first touch of the ball – a header following a fine piece of group play from the 2014 World Cup finalists. Just ten minutes later, Messi became the third Argentinian of the night to score his second goal. He made the most of a splendid assist from Agüero to stroke the ball home into an empty net. That was his 48th goal for his country, and leaves him just six short of the national record, currently held by Gabriel Batistuta.

Ángel Correa finished things off by scoring Argentina’s seventh and final goal on 83 minutes. The ‘albiceleste’ will be back in action on September 9 (4.00am CET) against Mexico at the AT&T Stadium, Arlington.

Germany beat Poland

Ter Stegen’s Germany collected an important 3-1 win in Poland on Friday evening, a result that means they leapfrog the Poles to move to the top of Euro 2016 qualifying group D. Müller and Götze got things off to a fine start for the world champions in Frankfurt, with goals after 12 and 19 minutes, but Lewandowski pulled one back for the visitors before the break. Gotze sentenced the game with his second goal just eight minutes from the end. Manuel Neuer played the 90 minutes in goal, with Barça’s Ter Stegen on the bench alongside fellow keeper Ron-Robert Zieler of Hannover 96.

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