Higuain scores stunner for Argentina as Messi hobbles off

Gonzalo Higuain (second left) puts Argentina ahead against Honduras Source: AAP

Gonzalo Higuain continued his goalscoring form to inspire Argentina to a 1-0 win over Honduras, but the Copa America Centenario warm-up fixture was overshadowed by an injury to captain Lionel Messi.

After breaking a 66-year-old Serie A record with 36 league goals for Napoli in 2015-2016, in-form striker Higuain was at it again in the first half as Argentina completed their preparations for next week's Copa America in the United States with a sixth consecutive match without defeat.

Higuain made it seven goals in four games for club and country with a sublime chip just past the half-hour mark in San Juan.

However, Argentina were left sweating on the fitness of Messi ahead of their opening Copa America fixture against defending champions Chile on 6 June after the Barcelona star suffered an apparent back or kidney injury.

Messi copped a knock to the lower-back area after the hour-mark and received treatment on the ground before he was withdrawn minutes later as he hobbled back to the bench in pain.

In Argentina's first game since March's FIFA World Cup qualifying win over Bolivia and the only warm-up fixture before the Copa America gets underway next week, the South American giants dusted off the cobwebs to control proceedings and they were rarely troubled by Honduras.

With Messi pulling the strings from the outset, Argentina had Honduras on the back foot and were a constant threat in attack.

Argentina almost took a 27th-minute lead via Nicolas Otamendi but the Manchester City centre-back's volley from Angel Di Maria's corner flashed just wide of the post.

Argentina, though, eventually took the lead they deserved thanks to a moment of brilliance from Higuain.

Higuain turned his opponent inside-out with a nutmeg through the defender's legs before scoring with a sublime chip over onrushing Honduras goalkeeper Donis Escober.

It should have been 2-0 for Argentina at half-time but Marcos Rojo - unmarked at the back post - saw his shot somehow saved on the line, six minutes shy of the break.

After Messi was withdrawn just past the hour-mark as a precaution, Argentina had a golden opportunity to double their lead.

However, Escober was up to the task again, denying second-half substitute Sergio Aguero from close range in the 69th minute before team-mate Gabriel Mercado hit the post.

Ever Benga - fresh from helping Sevilla to a third consecutive UEFA Europa League crown  - tried his luck from distance and almost put the result beyond doubt with eight minutes remaining but Escober made a fingertip save.

A first-half brace from Edinson Cavani lifted Uruguay to a 3-1 win over Trinidad and Tobago in Montevideo.

In the absence of injured Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, Cavani scored once from the penalty spot and another from close range to inspire Uruguay to victory in the Copa America Centenario warm-up clash at Estadio Centenario.

The brace also meant the Paris Saint-Germain striker - fresh off winning another domestic treble in France - moved above Hector Scarone into third in the all-time scorers list for Uruguay with 32 goals from 81 appearances.

Fiorentina midfielder Matias Vecino rounded off the result early in the second-half, after Uruguay were forced to come from behind after Jomal Williams's early opener for Trinidad and Tobago.

The contest was Uruguay's only warm-up game for the upcoming Copa America Centenario, where they will face Mexico, Venezuela and Jamaica in Group C.

Jamaica stunned Chile 2-1 in their pre-Copa America Centenario game in Vina del Mar.

Juan Antonio Pizzi's Chile, who are looking to defend their Copa title in the United States, had their chances but were punished at the Estadio Sausalito.

Clayton Donaldson's first-half opener and Joel Grant's goal after the break sealed the win for Winfried Schafer's men before Nicolas Castillo needed some luck to pull a late one back with his first international goal.

Chile had numerous opportunities, particularly before going 2-0 down, but were left to rue their misses at home.

They get another chance to find form with a clash against Mexico next week, just days before their tough Copa opener with Argentina.

Jamaica, meanwhile, will carry their winning form into their Group C clash against Venezuela on 5 June.

Source Omnisport