Riding on a late penalty from Lionel Messi, Argentina managed to sneak out a 2-2 draw against Uruguay in an international friendly in Tel Aviv, Israel.

In the game touted as the battle between the Barcelona duo of Messi and Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan looked all set to pip his Argentine counterpart as he scored in the 68th minute to put his team ahead before Messi equalised with a stoppage-time penalty.

Both the teams had fielded a strong line-up with the Albicelste playing both Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala and Uruguay giving start to Diego Godin in defence.

Messi and Aguero combined brilliantly in the opponent’s half, but the Uruguayan defenders dealt with all their might to deny them the breakthrough.

The deadlock was broken in the 34th minute when Edinson Cavani met Luis Suarez’s cross in a counter-attack, taking the Argentines by surprise. Despite having the lion’s share of possession, the Lionel Scaloni-managed side failed to equalise in the first half.

The second half saw Argentina pressing even further for the equaliser. Their effort finally paid off when Aguero headed in Messi’s free-kick from a close range in the 63rd minute.

However, their joy was short-lived as Suarez curled home a perfect free-kick from outside the box putting Uruguay back in the lead in just five minutes.

The goal forced Messi-led Argentina attackers to put their feet in the last gear and go all guns blazing. Aguero came close to score a brace after combining with his captain again but failed to provide the finish it required.

Juventus forward Dybala, too, had his chance to put his team back on the game.

After minutes of desperation and constantly hammering the Uruguayan defence, Argentina eventually got their moment when the referee declared that Martin Caceres had committed a handball in his own box.

The Argentine captain made no mistake and fired the ball into the centre of the net from the penalty spot for the Argentina sideline to heave a sigh of relief.