Messi scores to lead Argentina over Brazil 1-0

Lionel Messi scored in injury time to give Argentina a 1-0

victory over Brazil on Wednesday night in an exhibition between

South American rivals.

Messi scored his 15th goal in 53 international appearances,

sidestepping two defenders before slotting the ball past goalkeeper

Victor. The reigning FIFA player of the year has 19 goals in 16

games for Barcelona and 66 in his last 65 games for his club.

Messi had never played for an Argentine senior national team

that defeated Brazil.

”Messi means everything to us,” said Sergio Batista, who

coached Argentina for the first time since his ”interim” tag was

removed. ”In the first minute, he showed why he’s the best player

in the world.”

Brazil’s best chance came in the 16th minute when Daniel Alves,

Messi’s Barcelona teammate, hit the crossbar from inside the

penalty area.

Ronaldinho had several shots on goal, then was taken out in the

72nd minute. It was the first Brazil appearance since April 2009

for the 2004 and 2005 FIFA player of the year.

”First of all, he had a good match,” said Mano Menezes, who

lost for the first time since taking over as Brazil’s coach after

the World Cup. ”He took responsibility to create most of the plays

we had. We did good bringing him out here.”