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    Default Messi bags late winner against Portugal

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    Lionel Messi scored a last-minute penalty to give Argentina a dramatic 2-1 victory over Portugal while France maintained its renaissance under coach Laurent Blanc with a 1-0 win over five-time world champion Brazil on Wednesday.

    Cristiano Ronaldo looked to have earned Portugal a draw in Geneva with a 21st-minute equalizer but the Real Madrid forward was upstaged by his Barcelona rival, who converted from the spot with seconds remaining.

    Karim Benzema was France's matchwinner in Paris, the Real Madrid striker scoring in the 54th minute after good build-up play by Jeremy Menez. Brazil was down to 10 men by that stage following the sending-off of Hernanes.

    In other high-profile international friendlies, Manchester City winger David Silva scored an 86th-minute winner in Spain's 1-0 victory over Colombia to end the team's poor recent run of results, Italy drew 1-1 in Germany and England beat Denmark 2-1.

    Messi and Ronaldo _ who both play their club football in Spain and are arguably the world's leading two players _ were always going to hog the limelight in the first match between Argentina and Portugal since 1972.

    Messi had the last laugh, tucking away his penalty for his 16th international goal after Javier Pastore was adjudged to have been fouled. "We always enjoy seeing two great players on the same field," Argentina coach Sergio Batista said.
    ...being a human...



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