Lionel Messi
Argentina's Messi fights for the ball with Nigeria's Echiejile and Obi during their international friendly match in Dhaka. REUTERS

An inspired Lionel Messi led Argentina to a 3-1 friendly win over Nigeria in Dhaka on Tuesday.

Messi set up Gonzalo Higuain to open the scoring in the 24th minute, before a trademark mazy run and shot was saved by Nigeria goalkeeper Dele Aiyenugba and Angel Di Maria was on hand to put Argentina 2-0 up.

Nigeria pulled one back through Chinedu Obuasi Ogbuke but an own goal from Uwa Echiejile sealed Argentina's victory.

The South Americans fielded an uncharacteristically strong side for the final match of their India and Bangladesh tour. Messi was the undoubted star, setting up two goals, with Di Maria, Higuain and Javier Mascherano also playing a part.

Nigeria coach Samson Siasia was impressed with his side's performance after they travelled to Bangladesh just hours after their 2-0 victory over Madagascar in a 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

"I'm very proud of my players. We are all tired after the long journey, but there are no excuses," Siasia told BBC Sport.

"We shut Messi down in the second half, but he made the difference in the game tonight."