Juan Agudelo scored in the 59th minute as the United States rallied for a surprising 1-1 tie against Argentina and Lionel Messi in a high-profile exhibition game last night in East Rutherford, N.J.
Esteban Cambiasso put Argentina ahead in the 42d minute after Messi went around Jonathan Spector, ran to the endline, and then played the ball through the legs of Carlos Bocanegra into the 6-yard box. Angel Di Maria’s shot was stopped by goalkeeper Tim Howard, and Cambiasso scored on the rebound.
“It was pretty unbelievable,’’ Bocanegra said. “I mean, my legs weren’t that far open, and he just pops [it] through. And I’m going, ‘Really?’ ’’
Said Howard, “You watch [Messi] on TV and you think, it’s impossible. How does he do that? And then you see that he’s here for real and it’s just breathtaking, even as a top-level professional, as we are. It’s breathtaking because you can’t figure out how he’s doing some of these things.’’
After the US team switched to a more offensive approach, energizing the crowd of 78,936 at the New Meadowlands Stadium, the 18-year-old Agudelo scored his second goal in three international appearances. It followed Landon Donovan’s corner kick and a header by Bocanegra that was saved by goalkeeper Mariano Andujar.
England 2, Wales 0 — England ripped apart cross-border rival Wales in European Championship qualifying, coasting to victory in Cardiff, Wales, to reclaim top spot in Group G.
The goals came in the opening 15 minutes, with Frank Lampard netting from the penalty spot and Darren Bent tapping in another against their abject hosts.
Mexico 3, Paraguay 1 — Javier Hernandez scored twice and Mexico looked impressive in its first match since last year’s World Cup disappointment, beating Paraguay in Oakland, Calif.
Portugal 1, Chile 1 — Matias Fernandez scored the equalizer before halftime to snare a draw for Chile in a friendly in Leiria, Portugal. Fernandez’s long-range strike canceled out Rui Varela’s goal in the 16th minute.
MLS Salt Lake 4, Galaxy 1 — Javier Morales scored twice and added an assist to lead Real Salt Lake over visiting Los Angeles and extended its MLS unbeaten streak to 16 games, three shy of the league record.
Real Salt Lake hasn’t lost at home in the regular season since May 16, 2009, a span of 26 games.
Morales scored on a penalty kick in the 10th minute and beat Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders from 20 yards in the 41st.
Toronto FC 2, Timbers 0 — Javier Martina scored two goals, including a gorgeous volley from long range, as Toronto FC beat visiting Portland.
The Dutch winger conjured a highlight-reel goal out of nothing in the 70th minute, pulling down a booming goal kick from Stefan Frei and then volleying it from outside the box over reserve goalkeeper Jake Gleeson.
Red Bulls 0, Crew 0 — Third-string keeper Alex Horwath made five saves in his MLS debut as shorthanded New York earned a draw in Columbus, Ohio.
Earthquakes 2, Dallas 0 — Chris Wondolowski, who led MLS last year with a career-high 18 goals, scored a pair of goals to lead visiting San Jose.
Union 1, Whitecaps 0 — Carlos Ruiz scored in the 77th minute as Philadelphia beat expansion Vancouver in its first road game.
Rapids 1, Chivas 0 — Quincy Amarikwa scored to give defending MLS Cup champion Colorado a win in Carson, Calif.
Fire 3, Sporting 2 — Marco Pappa had a goal and an assist to lead Chicago in its home opener.