Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder makes first Argentina start

Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Alexis Mac Allister in action for Boca Juniors. Picture courtesy of Getty Images
Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Alexis Mac Allister in action for Boca Juniors. Picture courtesy of Getty Images

Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Alexis Mac Allister made his first full start for Argentina in their 4-0 win over Mexico at The Alamodome, Texas this (Wednesday) morning.

The 20-year-old, who is currently on loan at Boca Juniors, started on the right wing as the Argentinians utilised a 4-5-1 formation.

Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez completed a stunning first-half hat-trick as Argentina steamrollered the Mexicans in the opening 45 minutes.

The forward opened the scoring on 17 minutes. Martinez received a pass from Leandro Paredes 30 yards from goal, and the 22-year-old produced a stunning, buccaneering run that saw him beat three Mexican defenders before guiding the ball into the bottom corner.

Martinez doubled his, and Argentina's, tally five minutes later. A perfectly weighted through ball from Exequiel Palacios set away the striker who hit a a superb first-time finish to make it 2-0.

The Argentinians were awarded a penalty on 33 minutes for a Carlos Salcedo handball. Paredes stepped up and, although Guillermo Ochoa got a hand to it, fired home to triple the advantage.

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And Martinez completed his quickfire hat-trick six minutes later. Mexican defender Nestor Araujo failed to deal with a loose ball, allowing the Argentina forward to claim possession and finish past Ochoa.

Mac Allister played 64 minutes for the Argentinians before he was replaced by Watford midfielder Roberto Pereyra.

Argentina travel to Germany for a friendly on Wednesday, October 9 (7.45pm).

Shane Duffy was an unused sub for the Republic of Ireland as they ran out 3-1 winners in a home friendly against Bulgaria last (Tuesday) night.

Preston North End's Alan Brown poked the Irish in front on 56 minutes but Ivelin Popov equalised from the the penalty spot nine minutes later.

Burnley defender Kevin Long put the Republic ahead with just seven minutes to go before debutant James Collins wrapped up the victory three minutes later.

The Republic of Ireland travel to Georgia on Saturday, October 12 (2pm) for a crucial UEFA Euro 2020 qualfiying game in Group C.