(Reuters) – Lautaro Martinez netted a hat-trick in just 40 minutes as Argentina blitzed Mexico 4-0 win in a friendly in San Antonio on Tuesday.
The Internazionale striker took advantage of shocking defending to fire three angled shots past Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in the 17th, 22nd and 39th minutes.
Leandro Paredes scored from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute.
Argentina dropped the pace in the second period but still faced little resistance from an untidy Mexico side who did not manage a shot on target throughout the 90 minutes.
Eight players were shown yellow cards in a match that rarely lived up to its ‘friendly’ billing, but the game will be remembered largely for the brilliant finishing that brought the 22-year-old Martinez his first international hat-trick.
“I’m delighted and emotional,” he said. “One has to make a lot of sacrifices to get here and it’s not every day that you score three goals wearing this shirt.”
The result was Mexico’s heaviest defeat since they lost 7-0 to Chile in 2016. It was also the first loss for coach Gerardo Martino, who had guided them to 11 straight wins since taking over in January.
(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Peter Rutherford)