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Argentina is a proud rugby nation and will be determined to reverse the result in Port Elizabeth when the two teams meet again in Salta on Saturday, according to Springbok flank Jaco Kriel.

The Springboks opened their Castle Lager Rugby Championship account on Saturday with a 37-15 triumph over the Pumas in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, scoring four tries in the process. The sides meet again this weekend, this time on Argentine turf in Salta. 

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Argentina topped Brazil 1-0 in a friendly on Friday, auspiciously kicking off Jorge Sampaoli's tenure as head coach of the Albiceleste.

Defender Gabriel Mercado got the lone goal of the contest in the 44th minute. He finished off a play that was set up by a brilliant pass from Angel Di Maria to Nicolas Otamendi, whose bouncing header hit the upright and ricocheted to the Sevilla defender for an easy score.

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World football's governing body FIFA on Friday lifted its four match international suspension of Barcelona star Lionel Messi after an appeal by the Argentine Football Association.

Messi, who has already served one match of that suspension, was banned for insulting an assistant referee during Argentina's World Cup qualifying match with Chile on March 23. 

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Goals from Philippe Coutinho, Neymar and Marcelo fired Brazil to a 3-0 victory over Paraguay in their World Cup qualifier as the Selecao extended their winning run to eight matches. The result at Corinthians Arena here on Tuesday lifted Brazil to 33 points from 14 matches and all but guaranteed the five-time world champions a place at football's showpiece tournament in Russia next year.

Earlier, Argentina's shaky qualifying campaign continued when they stumbled to a 2-0 loss to Bolivia in La Paz. The defeat came just hours after Lionel Messi was given a four-match ban by the FIFA disciplinary committee for abusing a linesman in the Albiceleste's 1-0 victory over Chile last week.

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The FIFA Disciplinary Committee – in application of articles 77 a) and 108 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC) – has reached a decision in relation to the case of Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi following an incident that occurred during the match between Argentina and Chile on 23 March 2017 as part of the qualifying competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia:

Footballer Lionel Messi has been found guilty of violating art. 57 of the FDC for having directed insulting words at an assistant referee.

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Ace forward Lionel Messi helped Argentina beat Chile 1-0 in an intense football match of the South American qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, putting the Albiceleste in the direct qualification zone. Messi scored the winning goal from the penalty spot in the 16th minute on Thursday.

The Argentine squad managed to kill two birds with one stone; first, they exacted revenge against Chile after La Roja defeated them in the last two Copa America finals. Secondly, Argentina climbed to third place with 22 points, one less than Uruguay and eight behind Brazil, putting the Albiceleste in the direct qualification zone for the World Cup.

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Brazilian football club Sao Paulo has signed Argentina striker Lucas Pratto from Atletico Mineiro in a four-year deal. The 28-year-old will be officially presented to the club's fans on Sunday after Sao Paulo on Friday agreed to pay Mineiro an undisclosed transfer fee.

"We now have one of the best forwards on the continent, an Argentina international and possibly an important player in the next World Cup," Sao Paulo president Carlos Silva said.

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