San Juan : Lionel Messi scored a majestic free-kick as Argentina reignited their misfiring World Cup qualification campaign against Colombia on Tuesday before declaring a media boycott over claims of drug use by a team-mate.
Barcelona maestro Messi was at his bewitching best in a 3-0 win over the Colombians which included his 10th-minute 30-yard free-kick before assists for Lucas Pratto and Angel Di Maria.
But the feelgood factor from a win which catapulted Argentina into the qualifying places in South America’s campaign was short-lived at an explosive post-match press conference.
— Germany hold Italy —
Gianluigi Buffon earned a European record-equalling 167th cap as Italy played out a goalless friendly draw with their Euro 2016 quarter-final tormentors Germany in Milan on Tuesday.
The 38-year-old Buffon, who made his Italy debut in 1997, is now level with retired Spain legend and fellow goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Although Buffon is now just 17 behind world record-holder Ahmed Hassan of Egpyt (184), the appearance of AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma for a more positive second half was a reminder that retirement may not be too far off
— Spain: 2, England: 2 —
Substitute Isco struck deep in stoppage time to earn Spain a 2-2 draw and deprive Gareth Southgate of victory in his final game as England interim manager on Tuesday.
Goals from Adam Lallana and Jamie Vardy had set England up for an impressive win, but Spain debutant Iago Aspas reduced the arrears in the 89th minute before Isco levelled with practically the last kick.
Southgate, who lost Lallana to injury in the first half, cursed his luck on the touchline, but having gone four games unbeaten since replacing Sam Allardyce, the job is still expected to be his full-time. “The players over the period of the four matches couldn’t have given any more,” Southgate said.
“It feels like a defeat for the players, but I couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve done. It was a healthy, positive performance.”
While victory eluded England at the last, the vibrant nature of their performance at Wembley will help to erase lingering memories of their Euro 2016 humiliation.