Argentina defeated Mexico 2-0 in Cordoba on Friday thanks to Ramiro Funes Mori's header and a late Isaac Brizuela own goal.
Mexico should have taken the lead in the second minute of the friendly as Raul Jimenez hit the bar with a diving header from Marco Fabian's cross. Less than a minute later, Funes Mori's slip allowed Alan Pulido to play Fabian through on goal, but his tame shot was saved by Agustin Marchesin.
After surviving those early scares, Argentina settled into the contest and slowly began to threaten through Paulo Dybala and Lautaro Martinez, although they remained vulnerable, with Leandro Parades' inch-perfect sliding tackle inside the area denying Jimenez on the counterattack.
The pressure continued to grow, Guillermo Ochoa making a smart save to keep out Martinez's downward header from a Dybala free-kick in the 38th minute.
And when the deadlock was eventually broken, it was another Dybala set-piece that did the damage, Funes Mori meeting his delivery from a free-kick unmarked to head home the opener.
Dybala sent a well-weighted chip narrowly over the bar in one of few chances of note during a disjointed second half, substitute Brizuela putting through his own net in the 83rd minute to prevent the lurking Mauro Icardi from opening his senior Argentina account.
What does it mean? Jury out on both coaches
Lionel Scaloni can rest slightly easier, at least for now, after a mixed start to his reign as Argentina coach, having overseen a narrow loss to Brazil, a draw with Colombia and unremarkable wins over Guatemala and Iraq. Mexico continue to search for Juan Carlos Osorio's long-term replacement, interim boss Ricardo Ferretti having now orchestrated just one win over Costa Rica and four losses, to Uruguay, the United States, Chile and now Mexico.
Funes Mori makes amends
A careless early error having gone unpunished, Villarreal defender Funes Mori atoned for his sins just before half-time, shrugging off the ineffectual attentions of the Mexico defence to finish confidently from close range, leaving Ochoa stranded.
Dybala can't find his shooting boots
Dybala was by far Argentina's brightest spark before being withdrawn in the 72nd minute, the Juventus forward supplying numerous chances for team-mates and testing Ochoa himself with an eye-catching combination of chest control and a scissor-kick volley. But the 25-year-old is yet to score for his country, and the pressure will continue to mount on his slender shoulders during the continuing absence of Lionel Messi.
The teams will sign off on 2018 when they meet again in another friendly in Mendoza on Tuesday.
|Back to the drawing board for West Indies - Chase|
|Copa Libertadores: Messi and Griezmann among stars in Madrid for River-Boca Superclasico|
|Brady sets NFL record for most career TD passes|
|Copa Libertadores: Tevez named on Boca bench for Superclasico final|
|Premier League needs VAR, right now! - Benitez fumes over Dean´s decisions|
|McCall expects Itoje to fit for the Six Nations|
|Solari salutes Real Madrid character after ´ugly´ Huesca win|
|Berbatov defends under-fire Lukaku|
|Sarries crush Blues to maintain unbeaten start|
|Newcastle United 1 Wolves 2: Doherty punishes Yedlin red with late winner|
|Deeney jokes he´ll ´smash´ former Watford star Richarlison|
|Huesca 0 Real Madrid 1: Bale ends drought as Solari´s men edge to victory|
|Ponting: Umpires not looking at no-balls|
|Bale ends longest LaLiga goal drought|
|Porter backs Brees for MVP, Saints for Super Bowl|
|Verstappen eyeing 2019 title fight|
|Wall ´shouldn´t have played´ against Cavaliers after scoring just one point|
|Hazard: Man City the best team in the Premier League despite Chelsea win|
|LeBron explains why he gave a Grizzlies employee his game-worn shoes|
|Bangladesh cruise to ODI victory as seamers punish Windies|
|Football will win over violence, claims CONMEBOL president|
|Alcorcon support Reus Deportiu over unpaid players|
|Saponara explains cheeky celebration after last-gasp leveller|
|Godin and Filipe Luis return to Atletico training|
|Kick It Out condemns alleged racist abuse of Sterling|
|Emotional Oosthuizen clinches South African Open title|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 14|
|Martino salutes Atlanta´s grand plan|
|India´s tail must show greater application - Bangar|
|Mourinho: Diogo Dalot can be new Gary Neville|
|Sterling hits out at media coverage of black players|
|Lyon roars with defiance as Australia aim for unlikely victory|
|Bulls coach Boylen: Hooked starters ´embarrassing´ in record loss|
|Martinez pays tribute to Martino, Almiron after MLS Cup glory|
|LeBron: Final Wade matchup will be bittersweet|
|Alvarez-Kovalev rematch set for February 2|
|Newcastle Jets 2 Brisbane Roar 0: Sheppard, Jair score first A-League goals|
|India close in on victory in first Test|
|LeBron flirts with triple-double as Lakers down Grizzlies|
|Lomachenko unifies WBO, WBA titles with win over Pedraza|
|Joshua wants Wilder and Fury fights – Hearn|
|Mavericks rookie Doncic leads impressive fourth-quarter surge to beat Rockets|
|Martinez named MLS Cup MVP|
|Oklahoma´s Murray wins the Heisman Trophy|
|Atlanta United 2 Portland Timbers 0: Martinez scores again as Martino´s men win MLS Cup|
|Sarri to use Hazard as centre forward again|
|Ballon d´Or is a lie – Alba says Messi is world´s best|
|Messi: I needed some luck with free-kicks|
|Hoffman, Woodland in three-way tie for lead|
|Brook unconvincing in Zerafa victory|
|Leo unties any game - Valverde hails mesmeric Messi|
|Pochettino: Walker-Peters ready for Barcelona challenge|
|Messi showed he is world´s best - Busquets|
|Messi scores two free-kicks in a LaLiga game for first time|
|Chelsea and police look into alleged racist abuse of Sterling|
|Espanyol 0 Barcelona 4: Magical Messi dazzles in derby demolition|
|Leicester City 0 Tottenham 2: Latest Son stunner buoys Spurs for Barca mission|
|We are here to be champions, not invincibles – City boss Guardiola bullish after first defeat|
|Sarri still writing off Chelsea´s title chances despite City win|
|Salihamidzic: De Jong is on Bayern´s radar|
|Messi makes more LaLiga history with goals record|
|Chelsea humility key to beating Manchester City, says David Luiz|
|Ospreys hammer Stade Francais in Challenge Cup|
|Sancho dedicates Revierderby winner to late grandmother|
|Reading 0 Sheffield United 2: Late goals boost Blades|
|Exeter remain winless in Champions Cup after Gloucester defeat|
|Emery urges in-form Arsenal not to be distracted|
|Chelsea 2 Manchester City 0: Kante and David Luiz hand champions first defeat|
|Kimmich: I have never experienced anything like this season|
|Milivojevic laments ´unacceptable´ Crystal Palace collapse|