Lionel Messi needed all of two minutes to make his mark on Argentina's thrashing of Bolivia in Houston Friday night.
Messi scored almost immediately after coming on as a second-half substitute, then again eight minutes later as the world's No. 1-ranked team routed Bolivia 7-0 at the Dynamo's BBVA Compass Stadium.
The result was well in hand by the time Messi came on, with Ezequiel Lavezzi and Sergio Aguero each scoring twice in the opening hour. The capacity crowd in Texas got what they wanted from Messi soon after. After checking in during the 65th minute, Messi out-leaped a center back in the center of the box in the 67th, heading home Milton Casco's cross to make it 5-0.
He added one more in the 75th, splitting a pair of defenders to take a pass from Sergio Aguero and then rounding goalkeeper Daniel Vaca before finishing to increase the lead to 6-0.
With the two goals, Messi is within eight of Gabriel Batistuta's national record, which stands at 56.
Messi and Argentina play Mexico on Tuesday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to wrap up their stint in the U.S.