Goal in each half gives Argentina second win over Mexico

Argentina’s Paulo Dybala (21) strikes the ball to score the team’s second goal against Mexico during their friendly football match at the Malvinas Argentinas stadium in Mendoza, Argentina, on Tuesday. — AFP

MENDOZA — An early goal from Mauro Icardi and a late strike from Paulo Dybala gave Argentina their second win in a row with a 2-0 victory over Mexico in a lukewarm friendly in Mendoza on Tuesday.

With two minutes gone Icardi, the Inter Milan striker controversially left out of Argentina’s World Cup squad, beat two Mexican defenders on his right foot before transferring the ball to his left and whipping it past the keeper.

Dybala doubled the lead three minutes from time when he finished off a sweeping counter attack beautifully set up by Giovanni Simeone.

Mexico had more of the possession but Argentina were well worthy of a victory that came four days after their 2-0 win in Cordoba in the first match of the double header.

The best chance for the visitors fell to Jesus Gallardo midway through the second half but his point-blank header was well saved by substitute keeper Paulo Gazzaniga.

Brazil’s Neymar says

injury not serious

Brazil striker Neymar limped out of their 1-0 friendly win over Cameroon on Tuesday but later calmed fears his injury might be serious with a message confirming the problem was not something he was unduly concerned about.

The Paris St-Germain player was substituted after tweaking his groin as he shot at goal with seven minutes gone in the international match at Milton Keynes in England.

Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told reporters that while a scan was needed to confirm the exact diagnosis, he did not think the injury to Neymar’s adductor muscle would keep him out long and Neymar confirmed that early diagnosis.

Brazil went on to win the match with Neymar’s replacement Richarlison scoring the only goal of the game a minute before halftime. It took Brazil’s record since the World Cup to six wins in six games with six clean sheets.

Giroud penalty gives

France win over Uruguay

France striker Kylian Mbappe went off nursing a shoulder injury as they beat Uruguay 1-0 with an Olivier Giroud penalty in a rematch of their World Cup quarterfinal on Tuesday. The 19-year-old Mbappe was substituted in the 36th minute after being injured during a France attack.

Tanguy Ndombele threaded a pass through the Uruguay defender to set Mbappe clear, goalkeeper Martin Campana came out to block the ball with his feet but the Paris St-Germain teenager was sent flying and landed awkwardly on his shoulder.

Mbappe soldiered on for a few more minutes before asking to be substituted. France, who beat Uruguay 2-0 on the way to winning the World Cup, broke through in the 52nd minute.

Griezmann had two shots charged down in succession but the referee ruled that Uruguay’s Martin Caceres had used his outstretched hand to stop the second and gave a penalty. Giroud sent a low shot into the left-hand corner for his 33rd goal in 87 international appearances.

South Africa’s Tau rescues

draw against Paraguay

South Africa’s Percy Tau scored with virtually the last kick of the game to secure a 1-1 draw in a friendly against Paraguay at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Tuesday.

Tau, who is on loan in Belgium this season from Brighton & Hove Albion, beat the offside trap after a defense-splitting ball from Vitesse Arnhem midfielder Thulani Serero and finished over goalkeeper Antony Silva for his seventh goal in 17 internationals.

Paraguay had opened the scoring in the first half when Bologna forward Federico Santander had the simplest of tap-ins after home goalkeeer Darren Keet could only parry a shot into his path. — Reuters