BUENOS AIRES, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Argentine national soccer team "learned to play without (Lionel) Messi and passed the exam" by defeating Italy 2-1 in the friendly match played in Rome, Argentinean press highlighted on Thursday.
"Without Messi, the national team stomped its feet strong before Italy," daily "Clarin" entitled its front page, adding that the team led by Alejandro Sabella "did not shine but played well."
In the sports section, "Clarin" summarized: "The day when the team learned to play without Messi," adding that "without his biggest star, it passed the test of facing a big rival."
The sports daily "Ole" wrote: "Without Messi and the Pope (in the stadium), Argentina won Italy 2-1 in Rome. Sabella's team has approved."
The friendly match against Italy was in honor of Pope Francis, who is Argentinean.
The match was played Wednesday in Rome's Olympic Stadium, with goals scored by Argentines Higuain at minute 19 and Ever Banega ( minute 48) and Italian Lorenzo Insigne (minute 75).