Saudi Arabia holds Messi, Argentina

Lionel Messi, Argentina
Argentina's captain Lionel Messi (C) challenges Saudi Arabia's Bader Alnakly (L).
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia


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Saudi Arabia held Argentina and Lionel Messi to a 0-0 draw in a friendly match on Wednesday.

Messi and Sergio Aguero struggled for much of the night to showcase their talents, with neither posing much of a threat to the Saudi goal. The Argentine side did have several chances just before halftime but Pablo Zabaleta's shot was saved and Messi then failed to connect with Eduardo Salvio in the area. Saudi Arabia had the best chances of the second half, with Yasser Al Qahtani twice denied by keeper Sergio Romero.

''We didn't play a good match, from the beginning we didn't do the things we needed to do,'' Messi said. ''We basically gave away the first half, and in the second we played a little bit better, but not much.''

The run-up to the match was dominated by the chaotic arrival of Messi to Riyadh Monday, with security guards unable to control the crowds at the airport and one soldier inadvertently pointing his gun toward the Argentine star.

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