Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Javier Pastore was the hero as Argentina beat Ecuador 2-1 on Tuesday evening.
The Albiceleste were without their key player and captain Lionel Messi as the Barcelona man gave his right-foot injury time to heal, but the superstar’s absence didn’t harm them.
They took the lead inside the first 10 minutes when Pastore—the game’s outstanding individual—guided an Angel Di Maria delivery into the path of Sergio Aguero.
The Manchester City striker’s goal was his 22nd at international level.
Gerard Martino’s side were, however, unable to hold onto their lead and were pegged back on 24 minutes when Miller Bolanos finished past former AS Monaco goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
Pastore emerged as the game’s hero just before the hour mark when he slotted home calmly after finding himself one-on-one with Alexander Dominguez.
The playmaker’s PSG teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi got a brief run out when he and Ever Banega came on for Di Maria and Pastore with 11 minutes to play.
Both men will be looking to feature on Sunday when Paris travel to Olympique de Marseille’s Stade Velodrome for a match against their fiercest rivals.