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Despite the initial fears that the friendly match of Argentina and Uruguay could be called off in Tel Aviv, Israel due to the military confrontation between Israel and Palestine. The match went on Monday night as Argentina’s Lionel Messi scored an added-time penalty to salvage a 2-2 draw.

Argentina twice came from behind in an entertaining friendly match, to make the team unbeaten in six games since a disappointing Copa America.

Argentina had the better of the early play but fell behind in the 34th minute when Edinson Cavani stabbed home from close range after a nice build-up by Luis Suarez and Lucas Torreira.

The crowd in Tel Aviv cheered Messi throughout and it was the forward who helped Argentina draw level in the 63rd.

Messi’s free kick from the left was nodded home by Sergio Aguero to put a more realistic sheen on the scoreline for the Argentines, who had been the more positive side throughout.


However, Suarez gave Uruguay the lead again in the 69th when he scored with a powerful 20-metre free kick that flew past goalkeeper Esteban Andrada into the top corner.

But the last word went to Messi who, three days after he missed from 12 yards against Brazil, made no mistake by coolly side-footing home from the spot to secure a deserved draw.

The fixture was the last international for both teams before they begin their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign in March.



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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