Barcelona hammers six past Red Bulls
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Samuel Eto'o scored two goals and Xavi Hernandez added a goal and two assists to lead FC Barcelona to a 6-2 win over the New York Red Bulls in an international friendly on Wednesday night.
FC Barcelona won the match handily despite playing without star Lionel Messi.
The match came several hours after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Barcelona could keep Messi from playing for his native Argentina in the upcoming Olympics.
Barcelona officials declined to comment on the situation before the match.
The situation didn't distract FC Barcelona, which took command early and led 4-1 at the half.
Hernandez opened the scoring in the 17th minute when he beat Red Bulls goalie Jon Conway with a header off a cross from Daniel Alves.
Twenty seconds later, Eto'o got his first goal of the match when he got past the Red Bulls defense, took a pass from Hernandez on stride and beat Conway.
The lead grew to 3-0 when Rafael Alverz Marquez deflected a cross from Hernandez with his head, and the misdirected shot sailed past Conway in the 24th minute.
New York got on the board in the 30th minute, when Seth Stammler scored an unassisted goal. But Barcelona answered in the 43rd minute when Eto'o took a give-and-go from Alexander Hleb, then maneuvered his way past two defenders and beat Conway.
Barcelona replaced six of its 11 starters as the second half began, but the Red Bulls did not fare much better against the replacements.
New York narrowed the lead to 4-2 when Jorge Rojas scored on a rebound off a crossing shot by Jeff Parke in the 60th minute.
Barcelona closed out the scoring with goals by Jeffren Suarez in the 80th minute and Pedro in the 86th minute against Red Bulls backup goalie Caleb Patterson-Sewell.