Sports

Spain put six past Messi-less Argentina​

European giants, Spain thrashed two-time World champions, Argentina, who played without star player Lionel Messi, in an international pre-World Cup friendly on Tuesday night.

​Real Madrid star, ​Isco scored a hat-trick as Spain warmed up for the 2018 World Cup by crushing ​the South Americans 6-1​ in Madrid.

​The hosts​ raced into a 2-0 lead when Diego Costa stabbed past Sergio Romero before Isco side-footed his first goal.

Argentina, without injured forward Messi, pulled it back to 2-1 through Nicolas Otamendi’s header.

​But ​Isco and Thiago Alcantara extended the lead to 4-1, with substitute Iago Aspas adding the fifth before Isco completed his hat-trick.

Read also: Ajayi debuts as Mitrovic double sinks Super Eagles in W’Cup friendly

I​n their first friendly last week Friday, Argentina eased past Italy 2-0 but failed to make much impact against Spain.

Spain are now unbeaten in 18 games since Julen Lopetegui took charge following their exit at the first knockout stage of Euro 2016.

I​n another friendly game played on Tuesday, England were held to a 1-1 draw by Italy after ​a late penalty awarded by the video assistant referee (VAR) ​canceled Jamie Vardy’s opener ​at Wembley​.

​At Saint Petersburg in Russia, Paul Pogba scored a 30-yard free-kick ​to add to​ Kylian Mbappe​’s double​ as France beat World Cup hosts Russia ​3-0.

Elsewhere, ​World Cup holders, Germany lost for the first time in 23 matches as Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus scored the only goal to give Brazil ​victory​ in Berlin.

 

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