Argentina routs Iraq 4-0 despite Messi’s absence

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina, without rested Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, thrashed Iraq 4-0 in a friendly on Thursday with goals from Lautaro Martinez, Roberto Pereyra, German Pezzella and Franco Cervi.

Inter Milan striker Martinez’s 18th-minute goal at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd stadium was his first for his country.

The friendly marked the return of goalkeeper Sergio Romero, who was forced out of the 2018 World Cup with a knee injury.

Argentina next plays Brazil at the King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.