Argentina and Mexico notch second U.S. tour wins
01 April 2015, 08:19
New Jersey - Argentina beat Ecuador 2-1 to notch a second straight Copa America warm-up victory without Lionel Messi at a freezing MetLife stadium in New Jersey on Tuesday.
In other friendlies in the United States ahead of the June 11-July 4 tournament in Chile, Mexico beat Paraguay 1-0 and Venezuela overcame Peru by the same score.
Gerardo Martino's Argentina, with captain Messi looking on again while he nurses a right foot injury, had beaten El Salvador 2-0 in Washington on Saturday.
They went in front after eight minutes on Tuesday when midfielder Javier Pastore glanced an Angel Di Maria corner towards the far post where striker Sergio Aguero headed his 22nd international goal and first since Argentina beat Germany 4-2 in a friendly last September.
Ecuador equalised midway through the first half when a mistake in the centre of the Argentina defence allowed left back Walter Ayovi to square to Miller Bolanos in the box and the striker shot low past Sergio Romero.
Pastore scored the winner in the 58th minute when an Ecuador clearance was blocked and he beat the offside trap to tap the ball under goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez.
"I thought this was a pretty good Argentina in general terms though we have a lot to work on with our coordination," Martino told reporters.
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"Messi is having trouble getting his boot on because of the pain, there's no way he could play," he added.
The match, which began in a sleet storm and was played in temperatures barely above freezing, was Gustavo Quinteros's second in charge of Ecuador while defender Ayovi won his 100th cap.
Mexico, who beat Ecuador on Friday, also had their second consecutive win by beating Paraguay with a goal from Eduardo Herrera in the third minute at the Arrowhead in Kansas City.
It was Paraguay coach Ramon Diaz's second match in charge.
Peru, playing under new coach Ricardo Gareca for the first time, went down 1-0 to Venezuela at Lockhart stadium in Florida, Josef Martinez scoring the winner.
Venezuela had lost 2-1 to Jamaica on Friday.