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Messi's hat trick leads Argentina over Brazil 4-3

By Ronald Blum

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, June 9 2012 3:12 p.m. MDT

Argentina's Lionel Messi, left, moves the ball past Brazil's Romulo during the first half of their soccer match in East Rutherford, N.J., Saturday, June 9, 2012.

Henny Ray Abrams, Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Lionel Messi scored on three dazzling runs for his second international hat trick, finishing the season with a record 82 goals for club and country and giving Argentina to a 4-3 win over South American rival Brazil in an exhibition game Saturday.

With Brazil using a mostly young roster ahead of the Olympics, Romulo put the five-time world champions ahead in the 23rd minute. Messi gave Argentina a 2-1 lead with goals in the 31st and 34th on spectacular dashes that beat the defense, but Oscar tied the score in the 56th and Hulk tapped in a corner kick dropped by goalkeeper Sergio Romero in the 72nd.

Argentina came back once again three minutes later when Frederico Fernandez scored off a corner kick by Sergio Aguero, who had just entered the game.

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