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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 09:29, June 17, 2006
Messi scores in World Cup debut against Serbia and Montenegro
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Argentina's wonderkid Lionel Messi set up a goal and scored his own at his World Cup debut after coming off the bench on Friday against Serbia and Montenegro at their second World Cup round robin match.

The Barcelona striker was sent on the pitch as a substitute at 75 to replace Maxi Rodriguez, whose double led the South Americans to a 6-0 trouncing win to put the last 16 in sight.

"I am happy because we played well. I wanted to play some minutes and am pleased to have scored," said Messi after capping for Argentina without being scathed.

"It is a joy for us to see Lionel back as he is capable of doing special things," admitted coach Jose Pekerman.

Messi, just recovering from a lengthy thigh injury and shaking off another new injury worry, was founded by a quick free-kick from Juan Roman while waiting on the left wing, and delivered a low cross to Hernan Crespo, who lobbed in at 78 to add more gloss to an already outstanding Argentine performance.

Just 6 minutes later, the 18-year-old stretched Argentina's lead even further as he pounced the ball past Jevric after being feeded by Tevez following some wonderful build-up play from Hernan Crespo, Carlos Tevez and himself.

The talented teenager was not included in Pekerman's starting list due to a slight left-foot injury sustained in Wednesday's training, though the team doctor of Argentina, Donato Villani revealed Thursday that Messi's injury was nothing serious.

He has just recovered from a lengthy thigh injury and missed the national side's 2-1 victory at their first World Cup match with Cote d'Ivoire last Saturday.

Source: Xinhua

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