Lautaro Martinez scored a first-half hat trick as Argentina ran past Mexico 4-0 in an international friendly on Tuesday, September 11 in San Antonio.
Mexico came into the Alamodome after beating the U.S. 3-0 on Friday and riding an 11-game winning streak under manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino, but his former side emphatically halted that with an offensive outburst from which El Tri ultimately couldn’t recover.
Martinez, who plays for Inter Milan, repeatedly took advantage of sloppy Mexican defending during the first half. He slotted in his first in the 17th minute with a slick left-footed shot from just inside the box. He struck again five minutes after getting behind Mexico’s line and added his third in the 39th minute after robbing the ball from Nestor Araujo.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Leandro Paredes scored Argentina’s other goal from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute.
Mexico fielded a strong starting XI that featured Wolves striker Raul Jimenez and Napoli’s Hirving Lozano but finished the night without registering a shot on goal until the 91st minute.
After the match, Martino pleaded for more games moving forward against top-level opposition.
Eight players were shown yellow cards in a match that rarely lived up to its friendly billing, but the game will be remembered largely for the brilliant finishing that brought the 22-year-old Martinez his first international hat trick.
Martino lamented Mexico’s defensive errors, the lack of speed in the build-up and not being able to play through the lines, with Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni citing the full-back area as key.