|Saturday, 08 September 2012 11:42|
CORDOBA: Argentina captain Lionel Messi was delighted with a comfortable 3-1 win over Paraguay this morning that took them to the top of Conmebol's World Cup qualifiers standings, while warning they could not afford to rest on their laurels for the trip to Peru on Tuesday.
Messi (pic) saw the woodwork twice thwart his attempts to hit the net in Cordoba's Estadio Mario Kempes, but he finally registered in the second half with a stunning freekick to guarantee victory.
Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain also struck for theAlbiceleste, who now lead Chile and Ecuador by one point in the race to Brazil 2014.
Speaking after the match, Messi advised calm ahead of a potentially tricky visit to Lima, saying that the Inca would prove tough opposition.
"This triumph is very valuable, now we go to Peru who are a very difficult team to play against," said the Barcelona superstar.
"Leading the group is the least important aspect, the key is to keep gaining confidence as a group."
Messi also took the opportunity to thank the crowd in Cordoba, which was also the venue for Argentina's sole victory of the Copa America in 2011 over Costa Rica and where the fans were vocal in their praise for the star.
"This is a beautiful feeling. It is incredible when the fans give you so much affection. The same happened to me in the Copa America, in Cordoba and in Buenos Aires."
Messi has now scored nine goals in five international appearances during 2012, all of which have been won by Argentina.