Messi brace helps Argentina to 5-1 win over Nicaragua

Lionel Messi celebrates a goal for Argentina against Nicaragua

Lionel Messi scored twice as Argentina thrashed Nicaragua 5-1 in their Copa America warm-up game in San Juan.

Messi scored twice in two first-half minutes before coming off at half time to allow Argentine to give minutes to everyone ahead of the start of the Copa America this month.

Messi has already lost three World Cup finals before this and the last time Argentina won this competition, Messi was just six years old.

Early on in Friday's first meeting between Argentina and Nicaragua, Scaloni's team failed to inspire in front of a sell-out crowd of 25,000 at San Juan del Bicentenario stadium in San Juan, Argentina.

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Nicaragua, ranked 129th in the world and competing in their second successive Gold Cup, will prove a stern test for Costa Rica, Haiti and Bermuda despite this thrashing.

Nicaragua was barely able to recover as Messi converted a rebound after Lorente could only parry Aguero's shot in the Barcelona superstar's path. Messi doubles his side lead a minutes later after Sergio Agüero's shot is deflected to the Barcelona man, and makes a simple finish with two goals in a span of minutes before the Argentina skipper he was replace by Juventus forward Paulo Dybala eight minutes later.

The fifth came when Watford's Roberto Pereyra scored with nine minutes left before Juan Barrera's penalty pulled one back for Nicaragua. Argentina's next match will be their Copa America opener against Colombia in Salvador on June 15.

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