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Friday, May 25th

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Teenager Gabriel Jesus struck twice on his full international football debut and set up another goal as Brazil defeated 10-man Ecuador 3-0 in their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Neymar scored the opener at the Estadio Olimpico by converting a 72nd-minute spot kick after Jesus was felled by goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez. Juan Carlos Paredes was sent off shortly after when he received a second yellow card for a challenge on Renato Augusto.

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Argentina's national football team, with the return of Lionel Messi as skipper in the starting line-up and Edgardo Bauza's debut as coach, will welcome Uruguay on Thursday in the seventh match of the World Cup 2018 Russia qualifiers. The match will be played at 20:30 local time (23:30 GMT) in the Malvinas Argentinas Stadium in the province of Mendoza, 1,068 km west of Buenos Aires.

Messi, who had previously announced his retirement from international arena after Argentina lost to Chile on penalties during the final of the 2016 Centennial Copa America tournament, finally went back on his decision and will captain Thursday's team.

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Argentina's defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano said it would have been a sin had ace forward Lionel Messi stayed in international retirement and not played for the national football side.

Messi announced his decision to quit international football after Argentina lost to Chile in the Copa America final on penalties for the second consecutive year back in June.

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Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi cannot be expected to resolve all of Argentina' s problems on the football pitch, Albiceleste coach Edgardo Bauza has said.

Speaking on Tuesday, ahead of Argentina's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Uruguay in Mendoza on Thursday, Bauza suggested the opposition's fixation with the Barcelona No. 10 would create opportunities for his teammates.

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Spanish football champions FC Barcelona confirmed that Lionel Messi has suffered a hamstring injury which might keep the Argentine away from the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela.

Medical tests on Monday uncovered an issue with Messi's left hamstring, but he will travel to Argentina to link up with his team-mates and undergo further assessments.

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Uruguay's footballers could go on strike ahead of the national team's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Paraguay, according to reports in the local media.

According to Uruguayan newspaper El Pais on Tuesday, several players have threatened to boycott the matches if the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) does not sign a multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with sportswear manufacturer Nike.

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The Springboks arrived in Argentina late on Monday and immediately started with their preparations on Tuesday in Buenos Aires, where they will be based until Friday in the build-up to the second Castle Lager Rugby Championship Test against the Pumas. Saturday’s Test match takes place in Salta.

According to Springbok assistant coach Johann van Graan, the conditions in Salta will be very different from Nelspruit, where the two teams met over the weekend. “I know that the conditions there are a lot more dry, almost desert like. The crowd there is also very vocal in support of their team, and the field is a bit smaller. But, the playing conditions will be the same for both teams and we will adapt to it,” according to Van Graan.

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