Messi makes return as Argentina edge past Ecuador in Copa América warm-up

Angel Di María scores in 1-0 victoryMessi plays first international match in six months

Ángel Di María scored as Lionel Messi returned to the international stage for the first time in six months, helping Argentina to a 1-0 victory over Ecuador in a Copa América warm-up match on Sunday night.

Messi was on the bench for the first half before replacing Di María in the 56th minute. A hamstring injury had kept the Inter Miami star from participating in Argentina’s previous two Copa América warm-up games against El Salvador and Costa Rica in March.

“Sometimes there is no need to risk it, not only with Leo. It is about taking care of them so that they arrive in optimal conditions,” Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni said of his decision to sit Messi for the first half.

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