Without Messi, Argentina beats Ecuador 2-1 in friendly match

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EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey — Sergio Aguero and Javier Pastore scored in each half and Argentina defeated Ecuador 2-1 in a friendly match Tuesday.

In a lively game under snowy conditions at the start, Argentina managed to get another win in its round of tuneups in the United States ahead of the Copa America in June.

And Argentina did it without having to use its star Lionel Messi, who watched from the stands at the Meadowlands. He also sat on the bench in the 2-0 victory against El Salvador in Landover, Maryland.

The Barcelona star took a knock in the Spanish league 'clasico' against Real Madrid, just prior to the international matches and missed several training sessions this week with the national team.

Argentina opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Aguero nodded a header on a corner from Angel Di Maria from the left.

Miller Bolanos equalized for Ecuador in the 24th minute, finishing off a pass from Walter Ayovi from the left wing.

Pastore sealed the win in the 58th minute after a pass from Lucas Biglia.

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