The last time that Ezequiel Lavezzi found the back of the net was in Houston as Argentina eased past the United States in the Copa América Centenario semi final; ten months on and Pocho scored twice in Hebei China Fortune’s 4-0 victory over Tianjin TEDA.
Injury, loss of form and the Chinese football calendar have contributed to the barren period in Lavezzi’s career but it took only four minutes of Saturday’s match at Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Center Stadium for the 31-year-old to confidently dispatch a penalty.
Minutes later, Lavezzi crossed for Stéphane Mbia to head in a second and after 28 minutes the Argentina international raced onto Zhang Chengdong’s flick-on to volley in the third.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side were four-up before half time, cruising to victory and climbing to fifth in the table.
Despite his inactivity and lack of goals, Lavezzi remained in Edgardo Bauza’s Argentina plans over the past eight months but it remains to be seen whether a rediscovery of form will be enough to remain in the thoughts of La Albiceleste’s new manager.