Posted: Wed February 6, 2013 5:08PM; Updated: Wed February 6, 2013 5:08PM

Argentina beats Sweden in friendly

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Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi vies with Sweden's Jonas Olsson in Solan, Sweden.
Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

SOLNA, Sweden (AP) -- Argentina beat Sweden 3-2 in a friendly Wednesday despite Lionel Messi being held scoreless, as first-half goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero helped decide the game early.

Argentina took an early lead on an own goal when Higuain's shot deflected off Sweden defender Mikael Lustig.

Jonas Olsson equalized for the hosts with a powerful header on Kim Kallstrom's corner kick. But Argentina replied immediately as Angel Di Maria slipped a deft pass to Aguero, who easily beat Sweden goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson.

Higuain made it 3-1 in the 23rd minute, picking up the rebound when Isaksson couldn't hold Messi's shot.

Messi nearly scored with an elegant lob in the second half, but Isaksson cleared the ball with a bicycle kick over the goal line.

Rasmus Elm scored Sweden's second goal with a free kick in injury time.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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