Despite the absence of World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, Argentina still had too much for Italy on Wednesday, winning 2-1 in Rome.

Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria was the catalyst as Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega scored the visitors’ goals before Lorenzo Insigne replied for the Azzurri.

Dubbed the “Pope Francis” match, as it pitted the home of the new pontiff against the country he technically resides in, this was an eagerly-anticipated friendly match.

Brazil loses

Meanwhile in Basel, the latest stop on Brazil’s so-called Global Tour ended in a 1-0 defeat to a surprisingly lively Switzerland, thanks to an own goal from defender Dani Alves.

The results:

At Miyagi: Japan 2 (Kagawa 54, Honda 72) lost to Uruguay 4 (Forlan 27, 29, Suarez 52, Gonzalez 58).

At Durban: South Africa 0 lost to Nigeria 2 (Nwofor 49, 68).

At Solna: Sweden 4 (Ibrahimovic 2, 29, 58, Svensson 75) bt Norway 2 (Abdellaoue 38-pen, Johanson 43).

At Budapest: Hungary 1 (Dzsudzsak 57-pen) drew with Czech Republic 1 (Kozak 23).

At Kaiserslautern: Germany 3 (Gundogan 18, Mueller 31, Bender 75) drew with Paraguay 3 (Nunez 9, Pittoni 13, Samudio 45).

At Rome: Italy 1 (Insigne 76) lost to Argentina 2 (Higuain 20, Banega 49).

At Basel: Switzerland 1 (Alves 48-og) bt Brazil 0.

At Sarajevo: Bosnia & Herzegovina 3 (Dzeko 8, 90, Ibisevic 29) lost to United States 4 (Johnson 55, Altidore 60, 84, 86).

At London: England 3 (Walcott 29, Welbeck 54, Lambert 71) bt Scotland 2 (Morrison 11, Miller 50).

At Brussels: Belgium 0 drew with France 0.

At Cardiff: Wales 0 drew with Republic of Ireland 0.

At Gdansk: Poland 3 (Klich 4, Sobota 57, Zielinski 60) bt Denmark 2 (Eriksen 18, Braithwaite 45).

At Faro: Portugal 1 (Ronaldo 86) drew with the Netherlands 1 (Strootman 17).

At Guayaquil: Ecuador 0 lost to Spain 2 (Negredo 25, Cazorla 63).

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