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Argentina v Honduras Live Commentary, 24/09/2022

3 - 0
Lautaro Martínez (16)
L. Messi (45+2 pen)
L. Messi (69)
Hard Rock Stadium


That concludes our commentary of the international friendly between Argentina and Honduras. We hope you’ve enjoyed it!
Argentina will continue warming up for the World Cup with another friendly on September 27, when they play Jamaica in New Jersey. Honduras are also back in action on the same day against Guatemala in Texas.
A dominant Argentina cruise to victory in Miami, beating Honduras by three goals to nil. Lautaro Martinez got proceedings underway with a lovely finish to Gomez’s pass after just 16 minutes, with Messi doubling their advantage from the penalty spot in injury time. The captain would make his mark in the second half as well, greeting a turnover in possession with a scintillating chip that beat the goalkeeper from 25 yards. Honduras offered precious little in the match, sitting back and inviting their opponents onto them while failing to break at pace down towards the other end. The win extends the Albiceleste’s undefeated streak to 34 fixtures while Honduras fall to their third defeat in five games.
90' The fourth official indicates one minute will be added to the end of the match for stoppages.
88' Almada gets onto the ball and hits an off-balance shot from just over 20 yards out that sails high and wide of the goal.
86' Honduras are looking to keep possession for an extended spell for the first time in the match and build from the back, with Argentina’s press relenting in the late stages.
84' The Albiceleste have now scored at least three goals in each of their last three matches, and in four of their last five.
B. Róchez
R. Quioto
82' Rochez comes on for Quioto, who had a very quiet evening leading the Honduras line.
F. Flores
O. Elvir
82' Elvir comes off with eight minutes left, giving Franklin Flores a chance to play.
80' The Argentina free-kick comes to nothing as Almada looks to get on the end of Messi’s chip, only to foul Solano in the process.
78' Almada is wrestled to the ground by the already booked Santos, who gives away a free-kick on left wing just outside the penalty area.
G. Mejía
K. Arriaga
76' Arriaga is hauled off with 14 minutes left, to be replaced by German Mejia.
J. Rosales
H. Castellanos
76' Castellanos is unable to continue, with Rosales coming on in relief.
74' Play is stopped temporarily for Castellanos, who has gone down inside his own penalty area following an Argentina strike on goal. It appears to be a problem with the midfielder's calf but he's eventually able to get to his feet to hobble off.
Á. Correa
G. Lo Celso
72' Lo Celso also makes way, with Correa chosen to take his place.
A. Mac Allister
R. De Paul
72' Mac Allister will get a chance to strut his stuff with 18 minutes left, replacing De Paul.
71' Messi makes it seven goals in his last two games, with his pair tonight still three short of his incredible five-goal tally against Estonia.
L. Messi
69' MESSI WITH A FANTASTIC GOAL TO MAKE IT 3-0! Fernandez’s high press in midfield wins the ball back for Argentina and presents possession to Messi 25 yards from goal. Without a second thought the captain greets the pass with a first-time scoop that sails over the head of the goalkeeper and into the back of the net!
67' Argentina are looking for their third-consecutive clean sheet and their fifth in the last six matches.
N. Pérez
G. Pezzella
65' An alteration in defence sees Perez come on for Pezzella.
E. Fernández
L. Paredes
64' Paredes is replaced by Fernandez as Scaloni continues to make changes.
E. Solano
A. Najar
62' Solano comes on for Najar with Honduras looking to add inspiration from the bench.
60' Lo Celso slips a lovely pass through for an onside Alvarez but the Manchester City striker only manages to hit the goalkeeper in the chest - providing an easy save for Luis Lopez.
58' De Paul plays a lovely backheel pass to Messi, who receives the pass with an instinctive touch before playing it down the left for Alvarez. The service is rebuffed but the captain regains possession and lays it back for Paredes, who hammers his effort wide.
56' The free-kick is taken short to Messi, who immediately crosses it to the far side of the penalty area to change the angle of the attack. It looks a promising move but the centring pass to De Paul is crowded out as Honduras clear it away.
55' Tagliafico is shoved to the ground by Santos, giving away a free-kick on the left edge of the penalty area.
T. Almada
P. Gómez
54' Almada comes on for Gomez with just over 30 minutes remaining in the game.
52' Najar swings Honduras’ first corner-kick into the penalty area looking for Quioto but Maldonado’s scuffed shot misses the target by a considerable distance.
50' De Paul hits a flat strike from just outside the penalty area looking to test the goalkeeper but Luis Lopez makes a clean catch at his near post.
48' Paredes steps into a pocket of space in midfield and chips a lovely ball over the top for De Paul, who manages to keep himself onside as he gets on the end of the pass 20 yards from goal. Maldonado desperately leaps in from behind and manages to poke it back to Luis Lopez - preventing a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
46' Honduras get the match restarted from the kick-off!
J. Álvarez
Lautaro Martínez
46' Lautaro Martinez does not re-emerge for the second half, with Alvarez taking his spot.
L. Palma
R. Rivas
46' Rivas makes way for Palma in a half-time change for Honduras.
Argentina will look to make changes and test the depth of their squad with just two months to go until the World Cup. Scaloni has called up a handful of promising young attacking talent including Fernandez, Alvarez and Almada - all of whom should see the pitch in the second half. With nothing to lose Honduras should open up and attack in the second half in pursuit of a result, though that could expose gaps in the defence.
A completely in command Argentina take a 2-0 lead into the half-time interval at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, thanks to strikes from Lautaro Martinez and Messi. The Albiceleste were left largely unpressured when in possession with Honduras preferring to drop back into a low block, allowing Messi and company just under 75 percent of the ball in the opening period. The first goal came from a lovely ball over the top from Messi for Gomez, who eventually teed up the Inter striker for the finish, while the captain would also make his mark on the score sheet, tucking away a penalty deep into first-half stoppage time. Vasquez’s side offered precious little in the first half, getting into the opponent’s half just a handful of times in the first 45 minutes.
L. Messi
Penalty Goal
45' + 2' NO DOUBT ABOUT IT! 2-0! Messi sends the goalkeeper the wrong way and coolly tucks his penalty into the bottom corner to double Argentina's advantage!
45' + 2' PENALTY TO ARGENTINA! It’s a late spot-kick for the Albiceleste, as Santos grabs a handful of Lo Celso’s kit and tugs him to the ground inside the penalty area! Can Messi double his side’s advantage from 12 yards out?
45' The fourth official indicates just one minute will be added to the end of the half for stoppages.
M. Santos
Yellow Card
43' Santos is late in his challenge and pushes over Tagliafico, earning the full-back a yellow card.
42' Deybi Flores charges out of his penalty area looking to spark a counter-attack after a failed Argentina corner but Gomez is in the correct position to step up and win the ball back with a powerful challenge, getting low to steal back possession while clearing out the midfielder at the same time.
D. Flores
Yellow Card
40' Messi looks to keep possession in midfield ahead of Deybi Flores, who comes across and catches the Argentina captain in the face with his shoulder. A brawl breaks out as De Paul looks to get in the face of the Honduras midfielder, but the referee sorts it out and shows Flores the yellow card.
38' Rivas is having his left leg worked on after a coming-together with Molina outside the Argentina penalty area. The winger should be able to continue, with play restarting via a drop-ball for the Albiceleste.
36' A poor backpass from Deybi Flores puts Luis Lopez in heaps of danger on his penalty spot with Lautaro Martinez pressing but the goalkeeper somehow manages to keep possession and turn his way out of trouble before playing a pass out to the right wing.
34' There are just over 10 minutes to go in the half and it doesn’t look as though Honduras have any way of troubling their opponents. They’ve managed just 22 percent possession and less than 100 passes so far in the match, with Rulli a spectator.
32' Argentina and Honduras have played only once before - in a friendly in May 2016. A Gonzalo Higuain strike just past the half-hour mark settled the match that was played in San Juan.
30' Lo Celso’s tackle on Quioto in front of the technical area has drawn comments from the Honduras coaching staff, who are unimpressed with the midfielder’s tackle. The referee has awarded a free-kick to Vasquez’s men while the captain receives a bit of treatment to his ankle.
28' Lautaro Martinez has gone down in some pain clutching his shoulder after Luis Lopez clattered into the striker during an attempt to punch away an aerial ball. It appears as though the goalkeeper put his studs into the back of the Inter forward unintentionally - which certainly looks uncomfortable.
26' Play is stopped momentarily for Elvir, who has gone down rubbing his knee after his clearance was blocked by Lautaro Martinez. The full-back limps off to be looked at by the medical staff while Luis Lopez slowly collects the ball for a goal-kick.
24' Quito’s shove on De Paul gives Argentina a free-kick on the right wing but Messi’s delivery is quickly cleared out for a throw-in.
22' Molina’s cross into the penalty area is latched on to by Messi, who juggles the ball in the air a few times before playing a simple pass to Gomez. The Sevilla winger immediately returns it to the captain, whose left-footed effort is smothered by Luis Lopez.
20' Honduras are unable to win the ball back as the Albiceleste switch it back and forth bringing more and more players forward. De Paul is the key man in the middle helping to dictate the play, unphased and unpressured by the opponent.
18' The goal is Lautaro Martinez’s and the assist may belong to Gomez, but Messi’s role in the move which led to the strike was crucial. His ability to pick up the ball and shift his weight to play an accurate pass is phenomenal, with his range on full display for the opener.
P. Gómez
16' Gomez makes a crucial impact, timing his run before laying it off to Lautaro Martinez for the assist.
Lautaro Martínez
16' ARGENTINA TAKE THE LEAD! 1-0! Messi’s ball over the top for Gomez is timed to perfection, allowing the winger to steal a march on his defender inside the penalty area. The Sevilla forward then squares a simple pass to Lautaro Martinez, who beats the goalkeeper with a first-time finish!
14' De Paul chips the ball into the penalty area for Messi, who prods it down towards the penalty spot for Lautaro Martinez. The striker was just ahead of the pass however, allowing Melendez to clear.
12' Molina gets forward down the right wing and cuts a lovely cross back to Gomez, whose shot from the penalty spot is skewed just wide of the target!
10' Argentina are in no hurry as they move the ball from right to left and back again in order to unlock the Honduras defence. The humidity is also very much a factor in Miami, with both teams looking to conserve as much energy as possible in the early stages.
8' Gomez cuts inside and shifts the ball to De Paul, whose quickfire strike from 25 yards out misses the net narrowly!
6' Argentina are having absolutely no difficulty keeping possession of the ball, with Honduras dropping back deep in their own half every time the Albiceleste are on the ball. Vasquez certainly believes his side have the best chance on the counter-attack, absorbing pressure before hitting with pace on the wings.
4' NARROWLY OVER! Gomez single-mindedly charges infield to intercept a loose pass in midfield before driving towards the penalty area and hitting a shot that sails just high of the target.
2' Paredes plays a lovely cross to the far side of the penalty area for Molina, whose touch takes it down for De Paul. The Atletico Madrid midfielder hammers a volley towards goal but Maldonado manages to get in the way.
1' Argentina get the match underway from the kick-off!
Honduras make four changes to the XI that beat Canada 2-1 in the Nations League on June 13. Santos starts at right-back instead of Marcelo Pereira while Castellanos and Rivas are preferred in midfield to Palma and Kevin Lopez. The final alteration comes on the wing - where Najar is chosen instead of Rubilio Castillo.
Argentina make five changes to their line-up from last time out; a friendly match with Estonia in early June. Rulli gets the nod ahead of Armani in goal, while Tagliafico replaces the uninvolved Marcos Acuna at left-back. Mac Allister drops out of the XI for Paredes while Lo Celso and Martinez are called in for Joaquin Correa and Alvarez.
HONDURAS SUBS: Edrick Menjivar, Montes, Maylor Nunez, Carlos Mejia, Franklin Flores, German Mejia, Joseph Rosales, Jhow Benavides, Edwin Solano, Luis Palma, Clayvin Zuniga, Bryan Rochez.
HONDURAS XI (4-3-3): Luis Lopez; Omar Elvir, Denil Maldonado, Carlos Melendez, Raul Santos; Kervin Arriaga, Hector Castellanos, Deybi Flores; Rigoberto Rivas, Romell Quioto, Andy Najar.
ARGENTINA SUBS: Franco Armani, Emiliano Martinez, Nehuen Perez, Gonzalo Montiel, Facundo Medina, Angel Di Maria, Alexis Mac Allister, Guido Rodriguez, Enzo Fernandez, Thiago Almada, Julian Alvarez, Angel Correa.
ARGENTINA XI (4-3-3): Geronimo Rulli; Nahuel Molina, German Pezzella, Lisandro Martinez, Nicolas Tagliafico; Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Giovani Lo Celso; Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Alejandro Gomez.
With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, let’s take a look at how the two sides are lining up - starting with Argentina!
Honduras finished last in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying without managing a win despite appearing in two of the last three editions of the tournament; 2010 and 2014. Diego Vasquez has started his tenure as coach of La Bicolor in relatively positive fashion - winning and losing against Curacao before earning a 2-1 victory at home against Canada in Nations League action.
Argentina put their 33-match unbeaten run to the test tonight in Miami against Honduras, with just two months to go before the World Cup kicks off. Lionel Scaloni’s side have been in tremendous form of late, winning three of their last four games by a combined score of 11-0. With just three matches to go before the tournament gets underway in Qatar - the Albiceleste will be looking to put the finishing touches on their preparations ahead of their clash with Saudi Arabia on November 22.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the friendly match between Argentina and Honduras!