Messi strikes at the death to rescue Argentina

Lionel Messi scored an injury-time penalty as Argentina rescued a draw in their friendly with South American rivals Uruguay in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Messi’s Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez had given Uruguay a second-half lead from a free-kick before Martin Caceres handled in the area, allowing the Argentina captain to nonchalantly roll in his second international goal in as many matches.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani had opened the scoring but Sergio Aguero levelled for Argentina following a Messi delivery.

Messi was in the mood from the outset as he rode four challenges in the first half before retaining possession and picking himself off the floor to spin the nearest defender and play the ball wide.

The five-time ballon d’Or winner, who scored on his first Argentina appearance since July in Friday’s win over Brazil, had a hand in both of his side’s goals in Israel.

First, his delicate free-kick was met by a glancing header from Manchester City’s Aguero, and then he salvaged a draw from the spot with defeat looming after Argentina goalkeeper Esteban Andrada could only palm Suarez’s set-piece into the top corner.

Messi now stands on 70 international goals, just seven behind Latin America’s greatest national team scorer, Pele.

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