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Messi strike gives Argentina victory over rivals Brazil

Brazil midfielder Ramires, right, tries to stop Argentina's match-winner Lionel Messi in Doha on Wednesday night.
Brazil midfielder Ramires, right, tries to stop Argentina's match-winner Lionel Messi in Doha on Wednesday night.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Argentina beat Brazil for the first time in five years in friendly international in Doha
  • Lionel Messi scores the only goal of the game with a solo effort in injury-time
  • United States beat 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa 1-0 in Cape Town
  • World Cup quarterfinalists Paraguay thrash Hong Kong 7-0 in another friendly
RELATED TOPICS
  • Lionel Messi
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Soccer

(CNN) -- Lionel Messi scored a superb late goal to give Argentina a 1-0 victory over South American rivals Brazil in a prestige friendly international in Qatar on Wednesday.

The world player of the year struck in time added on to give Argentina a first win in five years against the five-time world champions, who they will meet again in La Plata on December 19.

The diminutive Barcelona gathered a pass from substitute Ezequiel Lavezzi and waltzed in from the right flank past four defenders before angling a low left-foot shot into the corner of the net.

It was Messi's first goal against Brazil, who recalled Ronaldinho for the first time since April 2009.

"It's always important to win and this victory is even more important because it's against a direct rival and it gives us confidence," Messi told AFP. "My goal was important because it enabled us to beat Brazil."

It was Brazil's first defeat in four matches under new coach Mano Menezes, who replaced Dunga after the team lost in the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup.

Sergio Batista, however, triumphed in his first match as fulltime Argentina coach as his side bounced back from the 1-0 defeat by Japan while he was still in temporary charge.

Brazil's Dani Alves hit the crossbar in the first half, while Messi fired a shot which grazed the woodwork.

The United States beat 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa 1-0 in Cape Town thanks to a late goal from teenage debutant Juan Agudelo.

The Colombia-born forward, who turns 18 next week, scored the only goal with five minutes to play after being set up by fellow newcomer Mikkel Diskerud -- a 20-year-old Norwegian midfielder whose mother is from Arizona.

It was South Africa's first defeat in four matches since the World Cup, with England-based striker David Somma -- who lived in the U.S. in his early teens -- making his debut for Bafana Bafana.

Paraguay romped to a 7-0 win away to Hong Kong, with striker Roque Santa Cruz scoring twice in the first half and Jose Ortigoza netting twice in the second.

Edgar Barreto, Marcos Riveros and Cristian Riveros were also on target for the World Cup quarterfinalists.

African champions Egypt crushed Australia 3-0 in Cairo, with first-half goals from Ahmed Abd El-Zaher and Gedo before Mohamed Zidan scored a last-minute penalty.

The Ivory Coast lost 3-1 to Poland in Poznan as young striker Robert Lewandowski scored twice for the home side.

Gervinho equalized just before halftime but Ludovic Obraniak put Poland ahead again on 64 before the 22-year-old Lewandowski struck for his second with 10 minutes to play.

Morocco drew 1-1 with Northern Ireland in Belfast as striker Marouane Chamakh scored an opportunist opener in the 56th minute before Rory Patterson leveled with a penalty with four minutes left.

In other games involving African teams, Malawi beat Rwanda 2-1, Ghana drew 0-0 away to Saudi Arabia, Mali defeated the visiting Congo Republic 3-1, Senegal beat Gabon 2-1 and Algeria drew 0-0 with Luxembourg.

China defeated European minnows Latvia 1-0 in Kunming thanks to a header in time added on from substitute Yang Xu.

Oman crashed to a 4-0 home defeat by Belarus, for whom defender Alyaksandr Martynovich scored twice in the first 11 minutes.

Kuwait were held 1-1 at home by Asian champions Iraq.