Argentina See Off Italy Without Messi & Aguero
International Friendly Report: Argentina v Italy 23 March 2018
Result: Argentina 2-0 Italy
Date: 23 March 2018
Argentina, who were without Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, registered a 2-0 win over Italy at the Etihad Stadium on Friday evening.
Nicolas Otamendi nearly gave Argentina the lead after 17 minutes with a header at the near post but Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon made a great save to deny the defender.
In the 36th minute, Angel Di Maria carved out a chance for the White and Blues on the left side of the box with a shot from a tight angle that was brilliantly saved by Buffon.
Gonzalo Higuain nearly broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time after being sent through by Di Maria but his low strike was turned away by Buffon as the half ended goalless.
Higuain and Di Maria combined again five minutes into the second half, with the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder finding the Juventus striker with a cross inside the area but his header missed inches over the bar.
Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne made a brilliant run with 20 minutes left before unleashing a low shot towards the near post but Argentina goalkeeper Willy Caballero was alert and made the save.
Ever Banega eventually broke the deadlock for Argentina 15 minutes before time with a cool finish after playing a tricky one-two with Giovani Lo Celso inside the box, 1-0.
Manuel Lanzini sealed the win five minutes before time by netting his first senior goal for Argentina with a fierce strike after he was set up by Higuain inside the box.