Sergio Aguero netted his first international hat-trick to inspire Argentina to a 5-0 rout of Bolivia in an international friendly on Saturday.
Aguero had not scored three goals in an international senior match prior to the fixture in San Juan, having bagged braces in games against Costa Rica and Bosnia-Herzegovina previously.
But Aguero was on song in Argentina’s first and only warm-up match before next week’s Copa America opener against Group B opponents Paraguay on June 13 in Chile.
The Manchester City star netted twice in the first half and added another after the interval at Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario as he moved fifth on Argentina’s all-time scorers list with 26 – surpassing Gonzalo Higuain (23) and Luis Artime (24).
Angel di Maria – captain in the absence of Lionel Messi – scored two goals of his own in either half to lead the South American giants to their third victory in as many matches in 2015.
Argentina were simply a class above Bolivia – pooled in Group A alongside hosts Chile, Ecuador and Mexico, though countless chances went begging in the first half, before Di Maria gave Argentina a 25th-minute lead.
After Aguero was denied by the post in the opening seconds, Di Maria received the ball outside the penalty area and unleashed a low shot across Bolivia goalkeeper Romel Quinonez.
And Argentina virtually put the result beyond doubt thanks to Aguero’s quick-fire brace as the Bolivians were ripped apart.
Ezequiel Lavezzi was bundled over by Sebastian Gamarra in the penalty area after 28 minutes and Aguero made no mistake from the spot.
Aguero was at it again barely 60 seconds later, poking the ball past Quinonez from Di Maria’s cross.
Argentina keeper Sergio Romero was a notable absentee in the second half, replaced by Nahuel Guzman after hurting his knee before the break.
A wonderful outing for Aguero got better in the 51st minute.
Aguero weaved his way past two defenders and fired low beyond Quinonez for his hat-trick.
It went from bad to worse for Bolivia two minutes later, when Miguel Hurtado handled the ball inside the area and Di Maria coolly converted the penalty.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!