They were fifth in the table before yesterday’s World Cup qualifiers in South America, they remained fifth after their draw in Montevideo, but despite being left with a ‘bitter taste’, Argentina’s coach took the time to praise his captain, Lionel Messi.
Messi was huge. Throughout the game, we saw the Messi who really took over and made a very good match
Jorge Sampaoli told reporters after Argentina’s 0-0 in Uruguay.
The three tried, had chances, there was even a penalty that could have been given to Icardi
the Albiceleste coach said, referring to Messi, but also Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi, the members of his attacking ‘trident’.
We needed to win because of the situation in the table. This result still leaves us out of direct qualification. We came looking for something else… we have a bitter taste
Sampaoli also said, conscious of the fact that as long as Argentina remain fifth in the table, they will be obliged to go through playoffs against a team from another confederation, as only the top four of CONMEBOL’s qualifiers earn a direct ticket to next year’s World Cup finals.
As for Luis Suarez, he had to be substituted, but he was quick to reassure everyone that it was just a cramp, and not a fresh injury on his troubled knee.