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Argentina rout Haiti as Lionel Messi scores hat-trick ahead of FIFA World Cup 2018

Lionel Messi scored three goals and assisted the fourth as Argentina eased past Haiti 4-0 in a warm-up game ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Buenos Aires on Tuesday.

football Updated: May 30, 2018 19:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Argentina,Lionel Messi,FIFA World Cup 2018
Argentina's Manuel Lanzini (L) Giovanni Lo Celso (2R), and Angel Di Maria (R) congratulate teammate Lionel Messi after his hat trick during a match between Argentina and Haiti at the Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina on May 29, 2018. (AP)

The Argentina national football team’s dependance on Lionel Messi shone through once again as the forward found the back of the net thrice in their 4-0 FIFA World Cup 2018 warm-up game win vs Haiti in Buenos Aires on Tuesday.

Messi scored the opener after 17 minutes were played, calmly converting from the penalty spot to put Argentina ahead.

The Barcelona forward scored the second goal in the 57th minute with a simple tap-in and scored Argentina’s third after 65 minutes were played.

He played a part in the fourth goal as well, setting up Sergio Aguero to complete the rout.

READ | Argentina aren’t the best nor the favourites for 2018 FIFA World Cup: Lionel Messi

“More than the result we were able to say goodbye to our fans and show that we are going to Russia with hope,” Messi said.

“We’re not going as favourites because we had a complicated time in the qualifiers, but we are training well and we will give it our all.”

Aguero was fit again after a knee injury but began the game on the bench, with Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria starting up front alongside Messi.

However, both men failed to shine and instead it was Aguero and Boca Juniors’ Christian Pavon who staked their claim for a World Cup place when they came on after an hour.

READ | Mohamed Salah could be out for ‘three to four weeks’, says Liverpool physio

Argentina now fly to Barcelona to prepare for World Cup matches against Iceland on June 16, Croatia on June 21 and Nigeria on June 26.

(With inputs from Reuters)

First Published: May 30, 2018 09:02 IST