- He scored a first-half hat-trick against Mexico
- That took his international tally from six to nine
- He was also one of the better performers against Chile
Argentina played two international friendlies in the USA over the international break and were able to follow up on their strong finish to the 2019 Copa America. Lionel Scaloni’s side took on Chile in Los Angeles and Mexico in San Antonio and earned a 0-0 draw and a 4-0 victory respectively.
Lautaro Martínez was one of the Albiceleste’s best performers in the goalless draw and then put together a hat-trick performance in the second match against El Tri, making him the standout performer from this week’s international friendlies.
The 22-year-old started alongside Paulo Dybala in a Lionel Messi-less attack against Chile and both players were active, even if they weren’t able to get the better of Claudio Bravo. After that warm-up came the clash with Mexico and the Inter forward had a first half he’ll never forget.
First, he evaded several Mexican defenders to create enough space to get a shot away and past Guillermo Ochoa to open the scoring. He started and finished the move for Argentina’s second, blocking a clearance to win the ball back for his side and then converting after Exequiel Palacios slid him the ball. Next, he won his side a penalty by provoking a Carlos Salcedo handball, a spot kick that Leandro Paredes converted. Then, before the break, Laurato completed his hat-trick by latching onto the ball in the Mexican penalty area and blasting underneath the helpless Ochoa.
Three goals and one penalty won for his side, all in 45 minutes. Scaloni then substituted Lautaro at the break, bringing to a close his productive international break.
Lautaro Martínez’s Argentina goals
-One goal in a 4-0 win over Iraq in October 2018
-One goal in a 3-1 loss to Venezuela in March 2019
-Two goals in a 5-1 win over Nicaragua in June 2019
-One goal in a 2-0 win over Qatar in June 2019
-One goal in a 2-0 win over Venezuela in June 2019
-Three goals in a 4-0 win over Mexico in September 2019
Those goals took his Argentina tally up to nine goals from 13 appearances, which is even more impressive considering that he rarely completes the 90 minutes. When looking at his minutes-per-goal-record for his country, his stats look even more impressive as he has scored one every 87 minutes.
This underlined what has been a positive start to the 2019/20 season for Lautaro, whose Inter side have started perfectly in Serie A after he netted in their recent 2-1 win over Cagliari. Both Antonio Conte and Scaloni will hope he can keep these performances up.
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