Argentina's Lautaro Martinez celebrates after scoring a goal during the international friendly soccer match between Argentina and Iraq, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. - EPA

RIYADH: Argentina shrugged off the absence of Lionel Messi as a second-string team eased past Iraq 4-0 in an international friendly in Riyadh on Thursday.

Interim coach Lionel Scaloni used the match to blood a host of new talent with goalkeeper Sergio Romero, defender Ramiro Funes Mori and striker Paulo Dybala the only experienced players in the line-up.


Argentina's Roberto Pereyra shoots at goal. - Reuters

Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez opened the scoring in the 18th minute with a near-post header from a left wing cross by Marcos Acuna.

Roberto Pereyra grabbed the second in the 53rd minute when the Watford player finished off a smart one-two with Dybala.


Argentina's German Pezzella celebrates scoring their third goal. - Reuters

Fiorentina defender German Pezzella headed the third goal from a corner past over-worked Iraq goalkeeper Jalal Hassan with Franco Cervi breaking through the defence for the fourth goal in stoppage time.


Argentina's Franco Cervi (left) scores a goal during the international friendly soccer match between Argentina and Iraq, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. - EPA

Argentina will face traditional rivals Brazil, also in Saudi Arabia next Tuesday.

Brazil, meanwhile, face the Saudis on Friday.- aFP

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