No Messi, no problem as Argentina beat Iraq

Argentina shrugged off the absence of Lionel Messi as a second-string team eased past Iraq 4-0 in an international friendly in Riyadh on Thursday.

Interim coach Lionel Scaloni used the match to blood a host of new talent with goalkeeper Sergio Romero, defender Ramiro Funes Mori and striker Paulo Dybala the only experienced players in the line-up.

Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez opened the scoring in the 18th minute with a near-post header from a left wing

cross by Marcos Acuna.

Roberto Pereyra grabbed the second in the 53rd minute when the Watford player finished off a smart one-two with Dybala.
Fiorentina defender German Pezzella headed the third goal from a corner past over-worked Iraq goalkeeper Jalal Hassan with Franco Cervi breaking through the defence for the fourth goal in stoppage time.

Argentina will face traditional rivals Brazil, also in Saudi Arabia, next Tuesday.

Brazil, meanwhile, face the Saudis on Friday

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NPFL LEAGUE TABLE

POS.
CLUB
P
W
D
L
F
A
GD
PTS
1
Plateau Utd
25
14
7
4
36
15
21
49
2
Rivers Utd
25
13
6
6
28
15
13
45
3
Lobi Stars
25
12
7
6
26
19
7
43
4
Rangers Intl
24
10
7
7
25
20
5
37
5
Enyimba
20
11
3
6
30
20
10
36
6
Akwa United
25
8
11
6
23
22
1
35
7
Kano Pillars
24
8
10
6
27
18
9
34
8
Dakkada FC
26
8
10
8
26
26
0
34
9
Sunshine Stars
25
9
7
9
27
29
-2
34
10
Katsina Utd
24
9
7
8
18
25
-7
37
11
Warri Wolves
24
9
6
9
25
23
2
33
12
FC Ifeanyi Ubah
25
10
3
12
25
28
-3
22
13
Heartland
25
9
5
11
21
21
0
32
14
MFM FC
25
8
7
10
19
19
0
31
15
Wikki Tourists
25
8
7
10
23
24
-1
31
16
Abia Warriors
25
8
6
11
23
28
-5
30
17
Nasarawa Utd
25
8
5
12
27
27
0
29
18
Jigawa GS
25
9
2
14
25
35
-10
29
19
Kwara Utd
25
8
4
13
23
33
-10
28
20
Adamawa Utd
25
6
2
17
17
47
-30
20