Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni has praised the work of Gerardo Martino and said he expects a tough test when his side take on Mexico in Texas.

Both men started their playing careers with Argentine club Newell's Old Boys and have since made the move into management.

Martino guided Argentina to two Copa America finals before stepping down in July 2016 and is now in charge of Mexico, via a spell with Major League Soccer side Atlanta United.

Scaloni considered Martino an "idol" figure at Newell's Old Boys and still holds the 56-year-old in high regard.

"I was Martino's partner at Newell's," he told reporters ahead of Tuesday's friendly with Mexico in the United States. "He was there when I debuted. For me, he was the idol of the club and still is. 

"It was a lifelong reference and marked a time for all of us who played at the bottom and had the chance to do it.

"He has a very clear idea of ​​the game and it is very important to play against this team. I am sure it will be a very difficult team for any team. It will be difficult.

"As a coaching staff, seeing the operation of all the teams, we like some things about Mexico. We are similar in the line of play, being a leading team.

Without the suspended Lionel Messi, Argentina played out a goalless draw with Chile on Friday in their first match since beating the same opponents in the third-place play-off at the Copa America.

Scaloni has suggested he will make changes to his starting line-up against Mexico and has called on his players to keep better control of the ball.

"At one point with Chile we lost control of the game," he said. "Mexico like to keep the ball, so do we. The more control we have, the better. It takes time. It worked, we have it clearer before a complicated opponent.

"There are three players I'll wait until Tuesday [to decide on]. I don't want them to go out if they're not 100 per cent.

"If I think about getting results, the call would have been different. On the other hand, we would be left with the feeling that there are young boys who can give us a lot. 

"The results this week is secondary. They are tests to see where we stand. We will continue with the same line of play."

Diego Maradona claims his guidance on the training ground helped transform a luckless Lionel Messi into one of modern football's deadliest free-kick takers.

The legendary Maradona coached Barcelona superstar Messi during Argentina's eventful 2010 World Cup campaign.

Messi won his second Ballon d'Or that year but failed to get on the scoresheet in South Africa as the Albiceleste crashed out in the quarter-finals, losing 4-0 to Germany.

Despite Argentina's talisman not scoring at that tournament, Maradona feels that period was when the forward was at the peak of his powers.

But the new Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata boss believes a dose of his own wisdom was needed to elevate the attacker's dead-ball skills to the world-class level they have reached.

"Messi, in the World Cup I was in charge, all the goalkeepers [we played against] were the man of the match," Maradona said.

"He hit all the posts. Now he can't miss. It's a simple story.

"I had the best Messi and nobody can tell me otherwise, because he was able to skip past up to five players. A phenomenon. 

"But he had an issue with free-kicks. When we finished every training session we kept Leo behind so he could practice, and he started to hit the post. I didn't teach him how to take a free-kick. 

"Then he asked me how I was able to score."

Maradona described his advice as being simply to "hit it in the middle".

"And he replied, 'But I hit it in the middle and the ball goes this way or that way', and I told him, 'Don't worry, you're going to make it'," the former Napoli favourite added.

"Now he just can't miss."

Messi, now 32, has forged a reputation as a feared free-kick taker, his most notable effort last season a sublime strike from beyond 25 yards against Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals.

Maradona left his national team post after the World Cup nine years ago but has returned to his homeland to take charge of top-flight Gimnasia.

Diego Maradona promised to fight to save Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata's season during an emotional presentation to supporters after he was unveiled as head coach.

Maradona fought back the tears as he addressed the crowd at Juan Carmelo Zerillo Stadium, where the Argentina legend has been given his first job in his homeland since leaving the national team in 2010.

The 58-year-old made a bizarre claim that ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA) Julio Grondona prevented him from coaching in Argentina, while promising he would work hard to turn Gimnasia's fortunes around.

Gimnasia are bottom of the Superliga and Maradona, who will be in charge until the end of the season, told the supporters who greeted him: "I did not expect all this. When I entered here, when I saw all this, I cannot believe it.

"We are going to fight it with the kids. God willing, Gimnasia is saved.

"I told the AFA that after the national team they crossed me out. In 1994 with [Sepp] Blatter, [Eduardo, former CONMEBOL secretary] De Luca and Grondona, they erased me.

"How can I explain in words the sensations I'm feeling. When I entered I began to cry because I have no words. But my old woman appeared and calmed me down.

"Obviously I wanted to coach in Argentina. There were two people, Blatter and Grondona, pestering the presidents so they wouldn't hire me."

Maradona's coaching career has included spells at Deportivo Mandiyu de Corrientes, Racing Club, Argentina, Al Wasl, Al-Fujairah and Dorados, but he claimed he had been denied opportunities to coach at club level in Argentina.

Gimnasia face Racing Club on September 15 in Maradona's first game in charge, and after his presentation he told a news conference: "I want to take tomorrow to confirm the whole coaching staff and what we are going to do during the week before the game with Racing.

"I wanted to open the door now that I am part of Argentine football, because when the others were here I was not in anyone's folder.

"There are leaders who told me 'I went to look for you after the World Cup' but they crossed you out and they caused damage.

"But this is already past, now we have to work, work and we have no other option. I told all my players."

Spain put in a dominant performance against heavy hitters Serbia to set up a clash with Poland in the quarter-finals of the FIBA World Cup.

Serbia had the best offense of the tournament heading into Sunday's encounter, but Spain held firm in Wuhan to secure an 81-69 victory and top spot in Group J.

Poland finished second behind Argentina in Group I following a 91-65 defeat to the South Americans, while Russia beat Venezuela 69-60 in the same pool.

Meanwhile, Italy ended their campaign with an impressive comeback against Puerto Rico, Tunisia came out on top by just two points against Angola and South Korea got the better of Ivory Coast.

RUBIO RUNS THE SHOW AS SPAIN STALL SERBIA

Ricky Rubio was in scintillating form as he scored 19 points and added four assists to lead Spain to victory over Serbia, who suffered their first defeat since February.

Rubio was backed up admirably by Marc Gasol and Victor Claver, as Spain earned a fifth successive win.

It was the first time Serbia failed to score 70 points or more in a World Cup match, even though Bogdan Bogdanovic grabbed 26 points in a supreme individual display.

While Spain will face Poland in the last eight, Serbia must rally for a tough test against Argentina.

NIGERIA BOOK OLYMPIC SPOT

Hosts China slipped to an 86-73 defeat in Guangzhou, as Nigeria grasped a place at the 2020 Olympics.

Josh Okogie helped himself to 19 points for Nigeria, with 11 coming in the final quarter. Jianlian Yi was the start of the show with 27 points, but his performance was not enough to secure a Chinese victory.

Nigeria's NBA forward Al-Farouq Aminu said on the FIBA website: "I remember when I joined the team in 2012 we said we did not want to miss an Olympics. It's a beautiful feeling. It's amazing."

China are in danger of missing out on direct qualification for the Olympics, with Iran going above them in the race for Tokyo thanks to their 95-75 win over Philippines.

AZZURRI FIGHT BACK TO OVERCOME PUERTO RICO

Marco Belinelli and Danilo Gallinari inspired Italy to overcome a 26-point deficit as the Azzurri triumphed 94-89 in overtime against Puerto Rico to end a frustrating campaign on a positive note.

Italy had never previously won a World Cup match in which they trailed by 15 points or more at half-time, but Belinelli and Gallinari rallied their team-mates after a timeout taken when 59-33 behind midway through the third quarter.

Belinelli converted a game-high 27 points, while Gallinari became the first Italy player to accumulate more than 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in a World Cup game since 1994.

"It was a very bad game for us in the beginning. We did not show up," Gallinari said. "We knew that we had to come out with a different attitude and different intensity in the second half and I think that we did a great job."

Although arguably the greatest player of all time, it's fair to say Diego Maradona isn't necessarily synonymous with coaching.

Nevertheless, El Pibe de Oro is back in the dugout having been confirmed as Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata's new head coach on Thursday, his first job in Argentina since leaving the national team in 2010.

Maradona, 58, was a remarkable talent as a player for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona and, perhaps most famously, Argentina and Napoli.

The 1986 World Cup winner is similarly infamous for his off-field antics and controversies, having suffered from drug addiction, been criticised for his political views and generally never been shy about expressing himself.

While some of his behaviour down the years may not be what one would expect of your average head coach, Maradona often takes his teams on something of a ride…

Deportivo Mandiyu de Corrientes – 1994

Having been suspended by FIFA for failing a drug test during the 1994 World Cup, Maradona quickly turned his hand to coaching, securing a role at Mandiyu de Corrientes.

He had to watch his first match from the stands due to not having passed a coaching course or owning a license, though he remained typically animated. He only presided over 11 more fixtures, winning once, or 8.3 per cent of his games in total.

Racing Club – 1995

After allegedly being sacked in the Mandiyu dressing room, Maradona was not out of work for long before he joined Racing. In Avellaneda, El Diego had significantly greater talent at his disposal, including future Argentina internationals Ignacio Gonzalez and Claudio Lopez, and during this time they beat Boca at La Bombonera for the first time in 20 years.

However, Maradona was not present on that occasion, as he only actually presided over five of the 11 matches of his tenure. Officially, he won 18.2 per cent of his 11 Racing games before the club's presidential elections ushered in a new era and he left.

Argentina – 2008-10

After being away from coaching for 13 years, Maradona somehow landed the top job in Argentinian football; the national team. A reportedly strained relationship with Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria is said to have contributed to Alfio Basile's downfall and Maradona subsequently led them to the 2010 World Cup, but only by the skin of their teeth and not without a 6-1 humiliation by Bolivia.

They made it to the quarter-finals in South Africa, but Germany exposed them in a 4-0 demolition and Maradona departed. But his 75 per cent win record in 24 matches remains Maradona's best as a coach.

Al Wasl – 2011-12

"I do not want the club to be a graveyard for white elephants," was Maradona's opening gambit at Al Wasl, as he pledged to bring exciting young players to the UAE. That proved more difficult than expected, claiming in November 2011 many players weren't being paid on time.

A colourful season saw Maradona feud with two coaches, march into the stands to "protect my wife" from fans and flirt with the UAE national team job. He won 40 per cent of his 35 matches, but was hastily sacked after the club's entire board resigned at the end of a trophyless campaign.

Al-Fujairah – 2017-18

Following a five-year absence, Maradona was back in management in May 2017, again in UAE. His appointment at Al-Fujairah came as a particular shock given their second-tier status.

Maradona's spell was rather less controversial than at Al-Wasl and on the pitch things went better, losing just once in 23 matches. However, a haul of 11 draws proved costly, as Maradona left by mutual consent after failing to guide the club to automatic promotion.

Dorados de Sinaloa – 2018-19

Another eye-catching move followed for Maradona, as he headed to Mexico's Ascenso MX, the country's second division. "Some people said Maradona's useless," he raged after 4-1 debut win and he went on to lead Dorados to the Apertura and Clausura finals.

They suffered defeat to Atletico San Luis in both ties, with Maradona appearing to aim a punch at an opposing fan in post-match fracas after the Apertura defeat. Of his 41 games at the helm, Maradona claimed 20 wins (48.8 per cent) and suffered only 11 defeats.

He quit in June to focus on his health, but he is back with Superliga strugglers Gimnasia, signing a one-year deal.

Spain and Serbia booked their spots in the quarter-finals of the FIBA World Cup on Friday.

Spain overcame Italy 67-60 and Serbia thrashed Puerto Rico 90-47 as they both guaranteed qualification from Group J.

The two nations will battle it out for top spot when they meet in a mouth-watering clash in Wuhan on Sunday.

Poland and Argentina also advanced with victories over Russia and Venezuela respectively.

Hosts China scored a 77-73 win over South Korea in the classification round, while there were also triumphs for Nigeria, Iran and Tunisia.

 

ITALY LOSE IT LATE

Spain were trailing 56-52 with four minutes to play against Italy, but Ricky Rubio helped lead a 10-0 run as Italy were put to the sword.

The Phoenix Suns guard finished with 15 points, two assists and two steals, though he recorded seven turnovers – a joint-high for him in a World Cup game.

Juancho Hernangomez had a game-high 16 points as Italy came up short and saw their hopes of reaching the last eight go up in smoke.

Marc Gasol had just two points and four rebounds in his 27 minutes on the floor.

 

SERBIA TOO GOOD FOR PUERTO RICO

A fourth win on the trot always looked likely for Serbia, who opened the scoring and never trailed against Puerto Rico.

Five Serbia players reached double figures in points, while the towering Boban Marjanovic went seven-of-eight from the field for 16 points.

The European side out-rebounded their opponents 48-26 and used all 12 of their players in a routine victory.

Nikola Jokic claimed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

 

DECK DECKS VENEZUELA

Argentina had Gabriel Deck to thank for their 87-67 triumph over Venezuela; the Real Madrid forward had 25 points off nine-of-12 shooting in a comfortable win.

Poland joined them in advancing from Group I.

Adam Waczynski scored eight of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as Poland came from behind to down Russia 79-74.

Mateusz Ponitka contributed 14 points and nine rebounds, as Mikhail Kulagin's game-high 21 proved insufficient for Russia.

Like Spain and Serbia, Poland and Argentina will fight for top spot on Sunday. They go head to head in Foshan.

Giovani Lo Celso eased fears over his fitness following a pair of injury scares in Argentina's friendly against Chile in Los Angeles.

Tottenham loanee Lo Celso lasted until the 53rd minute of the bruising 0-0 draw, during which 10 yellow cards were handed out.

The 23-year-old was left beating the turf in anguish when Charles Aranguiz caught him above the foot with a crude studs-up tackle in the first half.

Referee Jair Marrufo opted against sanctioning the Chile midfielder for a second time, having booked him in the seventh minute.

The Argentine Football Association later suggested Lo Celso had suffered a groin problem, but the former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder provided a positive update after the match.

"It was only a blow, nothing to worry about," he said.

Lo Celso almost made the breakthrough for Argentina when he volleyed marginally wide of Claudio Bravo's goal shortly before the interval.

Inter forward Lautaro Martinez also threatened regularly but the sides could not be separated.

"We deserved a bit more. We had a lot of chances to score but it wasn't to be," Lo Celso added.

"We had a good game, generally speaking. The first half was where we had the most chances. We created some good opportunities with a lot of people in attack.

"We were up against a very tough opponent and we were up to their level."

Lionel Scaloni selected a youthful squad for the Albiceleste's first outing since the Copa America and felt the less-experienced players adapted well to the international arena.

"We wanted to give the younger players minutes," the Argentina boss said.

"With the game in progress, they usually enter much calmer. That was the idea. It makes me happy that the new players didn't notice the weight of the shirt.

"We always want to win but the important thing was the performance, which was good at times."

Argentina and Chile played out an entertaining 0-0 draw in a friendly in Los Angeles on Thursday.

In a rematch of the Copa America third-place play-off, which Argentina won, neither team was able to find a breakthrough at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Both sides were understrength and had their chances in an encounter played in front of a small crowd but with plenty of feeling.

Paulo Dybala and Lautaro Martinez squandered Argentina's best opportunities and Lucas Martinez hit the crossbar, while Cesar Pinares went closest to a breakthrough for Chile.

As the tackles flew in early – Leandro Paredes and Charles Aranguiz were booked in the opening seven minutes – Dybala fired just wide from distance in the 11th minute.

Argentina looked the more likely to open the scoring throughout the first half, going close again in the 23rd minute.

A beautiful team move saw Giovani Lo Celso play a pass into Lautaro Martinez, who teed up Dybala, but the attacker's shot from just inside the area was pushed away by Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

Aranguiz was lucky not to be sent off for Chile moments later, while Lautaro Martinez headed a corner over with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

Chile had their best chance of the half through Aranguiz, who forced Agustin Marchesin into a diving save, while Lo Celso volleyed wide for Argentina before the break.

Pinares should have put Chile ahead on the hour-mark, only to drill an effort against the crossbar after an Eduardo Vargas cutback.

The chances continued to come and Lautaro Martinez drew a straightforward save from Bravo in the 69th minute after a brilliant flicked pass from Lucas Alario.

Substitutions disrupted the rhythm of the game, but Lucas Martinez almost scored a winner for Argentina in the 85th minute, his header clattering off the crossbar.

 

What does it mean? Argentina show decent signs without stars

Without the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria, Argentina showed some good signs, particularly in the first half. While also facing an understrength Chile, Argentina looked dangerous and should have led during the opening 45 minutes.

Lautaro Martinez continues to impress

Lautaro Martinez impressed during the Copa America and the Inter forward again looked good against Chile. Most of Argentina's best moments came through the 22-year-old, who could have scored in either half and also set up Dybala for a great opportunity.

Aranguiz can count himself lucky

Booked in the seventh minute, Aranguiz was lucky not to be sent off midway through the first half. The midfielder put in a poor studs-up challenge on Lo Celso that only led to a stern word from the referee, when a second yellow card probably should have followed.

What's next?

Argentina head to San Antonio for a friendly with Mexico on Tuesday, while Chile face Honduras in San Pedro Sula.

Diego Maradona has pledged to work with all of his "heart and soul" for Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata after taking over as the club's head coach.

Former Argentina star Maradona last coached Mexican side Dorados, but left in June due to health reasons.

The 58-year-old former Argentina boss has now stepped back into a coaching role, this time with struggling Superliga team Gimnasia.

Following the announcement, Maradona used his official Instagram account to share his delight at the new post.

"Finally, now it is official. I'm very happy to be the new coach of Gimnasia," Maradona's post read.

"I want to thank president Gabriel Pellegrino for this opportunity and I want to tell the fans that I will work with all my soul and heart for El Lobo. A hug and thank you very much!"

Gimnasia are bottom of the Superliga with just one point from their first five games this season, with Racing Club set to be Maradona's first opponents.

The club's president Pellegrino believes Maradona's appointment is the boost Gimnasia require following their poor start.

"I have a huge satisfaction because I found a father figure for the club," Pellegrino said.

"We talked about the details and he was constantly talking about the fans. It's all positive. We are in a difficult time and we need someone really strong.

"We thought of him, we called him and he was the first to say that he wanted to take care of this moment for Gimnasia."

Poland progressed into the second round of the FIBA World Cup after securing a 79-76 overtime victory over tournament hosts China.

Yi Jianlian missed a three-pointer in the final seconds in Beijing, and China's hopes now hang in the balance as they head into their final group game against Venezuela, who beat Ivory Coast 87-71.

Serbia amassed a huge haul of 126 points as they demolished the Philippines in Foshan, where Italy had beaten Angola 92-61 earlier on Monday.

In Group B there were wins for Argentina and Russia, while Tunisia overcame Iran and Spain got the better of Puerto Rico.

HOSTS DOWNED IN BEIJING THRILLER

Poland clinched their progression from Group A with a dramatic triumph over China in a thrilling encounter.

Mateusz Ponitka became the first player to score 10 or more free throws in the World Cup as he and AJ Slaughter led the way for Poland, who were a point behind with 4.2 seconds remaining.

Ponitka made no mistake with one of the free throws, and after Damian Kulig nudged Poland ahead in overtime, the Zenit man converted another point, which ultimately proved decisive when Yi squandered a three-pointer at the death.

In Group A's other match, Heissler Guillent put in an inspired performance to lead Venezuela to victory over Ivory Coast.

SERBIA STORM INTO ROUND TWO

Seven players got into double figures as Serbia marched into the second round with a demolition of the Philippines.

Nemanja Bjelica missed Serbia's opener against Angola, but came off the bench to steal the show, scoring all seven of his field-goal attempts.

Bjelica sunk a hat-trick of three-pointers as he finished off with a game-high 20 points in 16 minutes.

Serbia will be joined in round two by Group D rivals Italy - who they face next - after their 92-61 victory over Angola.

ARGENTINA REACH MILESTONE VICTORY

Another side into the next round are Argentina after they claimed a 94-81 win over Nigeria.

Nigeria clawed themselves back into contention with a late rally, but an early charge from Argentina proved enough to secure their second win in Group B, and a 60th overall in the World Cup.

Luis Scola was key to the victory with 23 points and 10 rebounds, and he is now the second all-time highest scorer in World Cup history with 611 points.

Russia, meanwhile, were 87-73 winners over South Korea.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk are the three finalists for The Best FIFA Men's Player award.

FIFA announced a 10-man shortlist for the gong in July and, following the initial voting period, the final three have been revealed.

Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Harry Kane, Eden Hazard, Sadio Mane, Kylian Mbappe and Mohamed Salah were the seven players cut from the initial list.

Liverpool defender Van Dijk is the favourite of many after playing a vital role in the Reds' Champions League triumph and their Premier League title challenge – finishing just a point behind Manchester City.

He was recognised for his exploits just last week, when he was named UEFA's Player of the Year, beating Messi and Ronaldo to the prize.

The Netherlands international also helped his country to the final of the Nations League, only for a Ronaldo-inspired Portugal to lift the inaugural title.

Ronaldo also enjoyed success at club level, helping Juventus cruise to an eighth successive Scudetto, finishing as their top scorer across all competitions with 28 goals.

Messi's numbers dwarfed Ronaldo's, though, as the Barcelona star scored 51 goals in total, including 36 from 29 starts in LaLiga, with Barca retaining their title.

Those goal-scoring exploits won Messi the European Golden Shoe and, on top of being LaLiga's most prolific player, he also set up 13 goals, a haul only matched by Pablo Sarabia.

Messi's Barca team-mate Marc-Andre ter Stegen is among the three finalists for the goalkeeper award, with City's Ederson and Alisson of Liverpool also in the hunt.

And there is a distinct Premier League feel to the final three of the coaches' award, with Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino all in the running.

The winners will be announced on September 23.

Serbia got the 2019 FIBA World Cup started with a comprehensive victory over Angola in China on Saturday.

NBA stars Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nikola Jokic led their side to an opening win, before Spain and Italy also got up and running on the first day of the tournament.

A World Cup veteran starred for Argentina, while hosts China also began with a victory.
 

BIG NAMES SECURE BIG WIN

Serbia's stars made a strong start against Angola, who were completely overmatched in a 105-59 defeat.

Sacramento Kings guard Bogdanovic stole the show as he finished with 24 points, although Denver Nuggets superstar Jokic also contributed handily from the bench, adding 14 points, six assists and five rebounds.

Serbia, among the contenders in China, will face far sterner tests but enjoyed their first victory.

Head coach Sasha Djordjevic said: "Everyone talks about the first game, about a little bit of pressure, but in this one we really had a great game, a great opener - defensively and offensively."

Group D also saw Italy enjoy their greatest ever margin of victory at a World Cup, beating Philippines 108-62 after tying the all-time tournament record of 37 points in the first quarter.
 

SCOLA SET TO CLIMB ALL-TIME TABLE

Luis Scola is now 39 and he entered this tournament third on the all-time points list with 573 and, as a Shanghai Sharks player, should feel at home in China.

With former Australia star Andrew Gaze second in that table on 594, Scola will expect to move up the standings in the coming weeks and he took a stride towards doing so with 15 points in a big Argentina win.

The Argentina captain contributed nine rebounds, too, as South Korea were beaten 95-69.

Elsewhere in the same group, Russia edged Nigeria 82-77.
 

RUBIO STARS FOR SPAIN, CHINA TRIUMPH

Spain, the 2006 world champions, accelerated away from Tunisia in the second half to secure a 101-62 victory, with Ricky Rubio predictably central to their success.

Rubio grabbed 17 points and nine assists. Juancho Hernangomez gathered 13 points and eight rebounds in less than 19 minutes.

Elsewhere, an incredible final minute - including two David Huertas three-pointers - saw Puerto Rico beat Iran 83-81, having trailed by 19 points earlier in the game.

In Group A, hosts China were not made to pay for their profligacy from beyond the arc - shooting one of 10 - as they beat Ivory Coast in a low-scoring affair 70-55.

Meanwhile, Poland marked their return to the World Cup after 52 years away with an 80-69 victory over Venezuela.

Sergio Aguero reached 400 goals for club and country in Manchester City's 3-1 Premier League win over Bournemouth on Sunday.

The Argentina striker netted twice at the Vitality Stadium, taking his tally for the league season to four.

Aguero has started the campaign in blistering form, becoming the first player since Carlos Tevez in 2012-13 to score in each of City's first three league games of the season.

His second effectively ended Bournemouth's chances of a comeback and took him to 235 across all competitions for the club.

The 31-year-old scored 101 at his previous club Atletico Madrid, with the Spanish club plucking him from Independiente, where he notched 23, as a teenager in 2006.

He has also scored 41 times for Argentina, having made his debut the same year as his move to Atletico.

Aguero's second goal against Bournemouth was set up by David Silva, making it the 27th time they have combined to score in the Premier League.

Only Thierry Henry and Robert Pires (29) and Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard (36) have linked up for more goals.

Boca Juniors attacker Alexis Mac Allister was one of seven uncapped players named in Argentina's squad for upcoming friendlies against Chile and Mexico.

Lionel Scaloni named a 27-man squad on Sunday, including Mac Allister, Leonardo Balerdi, Nicolas Figal, Lucas Martinez, Nicolas Dominguez, Lucas Ocampos and Adolfo Gaich.

Mac Allister, 20, is on loan at Boca from Premier League club Brighton and Hove Albion, who signed the attacker in January.

Argentina, who finished third at the Copa America, are without superstar Lionel Messi as the forward serves a suspension.

It is an inexperienced squad for the friendlies in September, with Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria among the players joining Messi in missing.

Argentina face Chile in Los Angeles on September 5 before taking on Mexico in Texas five days later.

Argentina: Esteban Andrada (Boca Juniors), Franco Armani (River Plate), Agustin Marchesin (Porto); Leonardo Balerdi (Borussia Dortmund), Nicolas Figal (Independiente), Lucas Martinez (River Plate), Gonzalo Montiel (River Plate), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax); Marcos Acuna (Sporting CP), Rodrigo De Paul (Udinese), Nicolas Dominguez (Velez Sarsfield), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham), Alexis Mac Allister (Boca Juniors), Lucas Ocampos (Sevilla), Exequiel Palacios (River Plate), Leandro Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain), Roberto Pereyra (Watford), Guido Rodriguez (America), Matias Zaracho (Racing Club); Joaquin Correa (Lazio), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Adolfo Gaich (San Lorenzo), Lautaro Martinez (Inter).

Sbu Nkosi produced two flashes of brilliance as South Africa ground out a 24-18 victory over Argentina at Loftus Versfeld.

The Sharks wing dashed over for a pair of silky tries that were out of keeping with the quality in the rest of the contest, with only a late disallowed score denying Argentina a famous win.

South Africa, who start their Rugby World Cup campaign against holders New Zealand on September 21, caused a surprise by winning the recent Rugby Championship ahead of the All Blacks, Australia and Saturday's opponents.

This was their final home Test before going for global glory in Japan, and it was a tough contest, with coach Rassie Erasmus seeing his side given plenty of trouble by the Pumas.

His Boks had won 46-13 in Salta when they travelled to Argentina for last weekend's Rugby Championship finale, but this never looked like being a similarly one-sided match.

Led by hooker Schalk Brits, who at 38 years and three months became South Africa's oldest first-time captain, South Africa were often sluggish 

Elton Jantjies booted South Africa ahead in the 18th minute but Argentina responded in kind through Joaquin Diaz Bonilla.

Nkosi skipped in down the right for his first try, with a stylish shuffle of his feet before darting for the line. Jantjies rattled the post with the conversion attempt.

Argentina hit back right at the end of the half with an interception try, Guido Petti seizing on a loose pass from Cobus Reinach to run in from halfway. Diaz Bonilla added the extras and the Pumas held a 10-8 half-time lead.

Nkosi produced a sparkling run and dived over for his second try, taking the aerial route to avoid a last-ditch Pumas tackle.

But there was plenty of mileage left in the contest, with Diaz Bonilla and Jantjies exchanging penalties before Pablo Matera pounced for a try from a line-out by the Boks line.

Jantjies kicked another penalty to nudge the hosts 21-18 in front yet Argentina looked to have won it when Lucas Mensa charged through to dot down late on.

An earlier obstruction on Vincent Koch resulted in the try being disallowed, to South Africa's relief, and Jantjies added the resulting penalty to secure a narrow win.

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