Edgardo Bauza does not believe Argentina are reliant on Lionel Messi immediately after the captain and country’s all-time top goalscorer downed Chile.
Messi’s first-half penalty settled Thursday’s CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier as Argentina edged South American champions Chile 1-0 in Buenos Aires.
It was the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s 58th international purpose, which helped Argentina move third inside the standings – eight points adrift of leaders Brazil.
Asked about Messi’s value to Argentina, Bauza told reporters: “I don’t feel the team is Messi-dependent.
“I assume he played a very good game. Time for you to perform, we are going to enhance.”
Messi’s 16th-minute spot-kick separated the two South American giants at the Estadio Antonio Vespucio Liberti.
The referee awarded a penalty just after Jose Fuenzalida had brought down Angel Di Maria in the region.
Chile had a objective correctly ruled out for offside ahead of Nicolas Otamendi missed a golden opportunity for Argentina.
Alexis Sanchez rattled the crossbar using a free-kick as Chile left empty-handed.
“I’m extremely satisfied since we won a game that came out as we imagined it,” Bauza said.
“For me, the group played an awesome game that contained a great team like Chile.
“We failed to recover the ball. We could not have it in the final 15 minutes. We won against an incredible rival.
“For me, we did not play a terrible game.”
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