Argentina hands Spain 4-1 loss, first for champions since World Cup title

Spain lost for the first time since winning the World Cup title, allowing its most goals in a decade in a 4-1 exhibition defeat at Argentina on Tuesday night.

Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Carlos Tevez scored first-half goals, assisted by shaky goalkeeping from Spanish backup Pepe Reina.

Reina, starting instead of Iker Casillas, played a part in each goal. Messi lobbed him in the 10th minute and Higuain beat him from a sharp angle in the 13th. Tevez scored in the 34th after Reina slipped trying to clear a ball.

Fernando Llorente scored in the 84th for Spain, and Sergio Aguero made it 4-1 for Argentina seconds into second-half injury time

Spain had not allowed four goals since a 4-1 exhibition defeat at Germany in August 2000.

It was the second victory for interim coach Sergio Batista, who took over after Diego Maradona was let go following a 4-0 loss to Germany in this year's World Cup quarterfinals. Argentina defeated Ireland 1-0 in an exhibition last month.