Argentina 1-0 Honduras: Lionel Messi taken off injured as Gonzalo Higuain secures win in final warm-up game before Copa America
- Argentina star Lionel Messi limps off in second-half of win over Honduras
- Barcelona star suffered a suspected bruised lower back
- Gonzalo Higuain scored the first-half winner for Tata Martino’s side
- Uruguay beat Trinidad and Tobago, under-strength Chile lose to Jamaica
Argentina were left sweating over Lionel Messi’s fitness ahead of the Copa America after the Barcelona star suffered a back injury in the second-half of Friday night’s win over Honduras.
Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain’s well-crafted first-half strike in San Juan had given Tata Martino’s side victory in their final warm-up game ahead of the tournament’s beginning.
But their preparations for this summer’s competition were marred by the 28-year-old’s second-half withdrawal, with just over a week to go until Colombia face the USA in the opening match.
Lionel Messi limped off the field after suffering a back injury in Argentina’s 1-0 win over Honduras
The Barcelona star went down after a knock to the back and had to be replaced by Ever Banega
Staff assisted Messi off the pitch at the Bicentenario stadium in San Juan on Friday night
He was replaced by Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega 19 minutes after the re-start when he collided with Honduran Johnny Leveron.
‘Messi suffered a trauma to the left side of his lower back and rib cage,’ the Argentine Football Association said in a statement, adding that doctors were looking at the injury.
‘I would not dare to venture a diagnosis,’ said a concerned Argentina manager, Martino.
The Barca star is now left sweating over his fitness with Argentina’s first game of the tournament less than 10 days away on June 7 against holders Chile.
Higuain had ensured victory was Argentina’s with a fine individual strike in the 31st minute of the game.
The 28-year-old received a low cross from the left-hand side of the pitch on the edge of the area before swivelling past the defender to make room and lifting the ball over the goalkeeper and into the roof of the net.
Gonzalo Higuain gave Argentina victory in the friendly with a fine individual goal in the 31st minute
The Napoli striker continued his fine club form with the winning goal over Honduras on Friday night
Sergio Aguero was involved as Argentina played their final warm-up game before Copa America
In other warm-up matches for the June 3-26 tournament in the United States, Edinson Cavani struck twice as Uruguay overcame Trinidad and Tobago 3-1 and title holders Chile were upset 2-1 by Jamaica.
Uruguay, without the injured Luis Suarez, came from a goal down after Jomal Williams had put the Trinidadians ahead in the seventh minute in Montevideo.
Cavani equalised with a 26th-minute penalty for a foul by Weslie John on midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro and put Uruguay ahead in the 39th with a shot from the right at a corner.
Edinson Cavani struck twice as Uruguay overcame Trinidad and Tobago 3-1 after going behind
Matias Vecino, who made his debut against Brazil in a World Cup qualifier in March, increased Uruguay’s lead seven minutes after halftime with his first international goal.
Uruguay face Mexico in Glendale, Arizona on June 5 before also meeting Jamaica and Venezuela in Group C.
Jamaica, who meet Venezuela in Chicago on June 5, stunned a Chile side fielding several reserves in Vina del Mar scoring through Clayton Donaldson and Simon Dawkins before substitute Nicolas Castillo pulled one back late on.
Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez was powerless to prevent an under-strength Chile lose 2-1 to Jamaica