Hot favorites Argentina began their campaign, this Thursday evening, displaying all their firepower in their quest for the Copa America, with a 4-1 demolition of the USA, in the Group C match, held in Maracaibo.

The US team were well-organized on the pitch and threw a spanner in the works of the favorites, when Eddie Johnson converted a spot-kick he himself earned. Two minutes later, the Argentineans hit back with Hernán Crespo showcasing his poacher’s instincts to draw level, 1-all, the score at the break.

The match was even until the hour mark, with the disciplined American team preventing the Argentineans from creating any opportunities. However, on 64 minutes, Inter Milan striker Crespo reversed the scoring after an inch-perfect pass by Riquelme, making it 2-1.

Argentinean coach, Alfio Basile, used all three replacements. He fielded Pablo Aimar, who scored the third, nodding in a perfect cross by Gabriel Heinze, on 78 minutes.

Former Corinthians player, Carlitos Tévez, substituted Messi and closed the scoring after losing his markers and beating veteran Kasey Keller with a low drive to make it 4-1.

Argentina: Roberto Abbondanzieri – Javier Zanetti, Roberto Ayala, Gabriel Milito, Gabriel Heinze – Juan Verón (Fernando Gago, 86), Javier Mascherano, Esteban Cambiasso (Pablo Aimar, 58) – Juan Román Riquelme – Lionel Messi (Carlos Tévez, 79) y Hernán Crespo. Coach: Alfio Basile.



Lionel Messi scored twice as he inspired Argentina to put a dismal first half behind them and beat Algeria 4-3 in a friendly international on Jun.5.


Argentina 1-1 Switzerland in friendly on Jun. 2.