Sergio Aguero ended his long wait for an Argentina goal in his first start under Jorge Sampaoli as the South American giants left it late to beat Russia 1-0 at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Aguero found the net for his country for the first time since June 2016 in the 86th minute on Saturday, continuing the form that saw him become Manchester City's all-time leading goalscorer this month.
Has to be said, Sergio Aguero playing great. Fantastic on the ball and off the ball movement from the #MCFC player. Sharp shots and involved in the play up front. Possibly the best version of his since 2015 or even 2011. Maybe even ever with Argentina.— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) November 11, 2017
The 29-year-old, benefitting from Mauro Icardi's withdrawal from the squad due to injury, proved Argentina's most dangerous player and was twice denied by impressive saves from Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.
Aguero fed star Lionel Messi for an opening that was thwarted by a goal-line clearance early in the second half, while Denis Glushakov went close with a pair of rare opportunities for the hosts of next year's World Cup.
The breakthrough finally came when Aguero headed home with four minutes remaining, though there will remain concerns about Argentina's difficulties in breaking down a resilient Russia side.