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That's Messi! Rough night for Argentina as superstar is sick on the pitch and targeted by laser pointer in Romania frustration

Thursday, March 06, 2014 by Dailymail

Lionel Messi endured an uncomfortable evening in Bucharest as Argentina were held to a goalless draw by Romania - and their superstar was physically sick on the pitch.

The Barcelona forward was unable to unlock a stubborn Romania defence on a frustrating night - and his exertions in trying to break through appeared to take its toll, as Messi fell ill during the first half.

Messi made a slow start to the match and vomited briefly on the field in the seventh minute, shortly after taking a free kick.

After the game Messi played down his on-pitch illness: 'My vomiting has always happened,' he said. 'It happened a few times with Barça. It's nothing to me.'

Unwell: Lionel Messi was physically sick on the pitch during Argentina's draw against Romania

In the spotlight: An irresponsible member of the crowd used a laser pointer to shine a light on Messi

There was even more discomfort for Messi as he was targeted by a member of the crowd at the National Arena with a laser pointer.

Argentina were clearly the technically superior side and kept up the pressure throughout a game watched by 47,000 people on a wet evening at the National Arena in Bucharest, but were unable to notch the match-winning goal.

Romania proved tenacious in defence and were clearly determined not to lose against one of the favorites for the World Cup in Brazil in the summer.

On the ball: Messi takes on Romania's Aleksandru Bourceanu, Aleksandru Chipciu, Mihai Pintilii and Dragos Grigore

Catch him if you can: Messi holds off the challenge of Mihai Pintilii (right) at the National Arena Stadium

Ahead of the rest: Messi outjumps former West Ham defender Razvan Rat (right)

Argentina's best chance came in the 84th minute when Messi intercepted a ball in the box and passed to Angel Di Maria, whose shot was saved by goalkeeper Ciprian Tartarusanu.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and defender Pablo Zabaleta were part of the Argentina line-up, but were unable to provide a telling contribution.

Aguero, who is still feeling his way back to full fitness following injury, will have benefitted from 56 minutes on the pitch in Bucharest.

Romania made a more promising start to the game and midfielder Alex Maxim brought a sharp save from Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero in the 33rd minute with a close-range header.

Crowded out: Cristian Tanase (right) attempts a cross as Pablo Zabaleta (left) closes him down

Full blooded: Barcelona star Javier Mascherano (centre) slides in to win the ball on the floor

Animated: Romania boss Victor Piturca gesticulates wildly on the touchline in Bucharest

Three minutes later, Maxim slotted the ball into the Argentina net from six yards - only to have the strike ruled out for offside.

Argentina's best chance of the first half was a shot from Aguero that was saved by Tatarusanu.

Romania played more cautiously in the second half, looking to hold on to a creditable draw.

In the 66th minute, Gonzalo Higuain tried his luck with a left-foot shot from the side of the box but the ball flew wide and the home side managed to secure a clean sheet ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifiers later this year.

Frustration: Defnder Marcos Rojo lets out an anguished cry as Argentina were held by Romania

Going for goal: Aguero strikes a shot on a frustrating night for Argentina in Bucharest

Hands up: Messi fired a rare blank as his side were unable to break through away from home

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