Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez was full of praise for Lionel Messi as he inspired Argentina to a 1-0 win on Thursday. 

Messi, making his first appearance since reversing his decision to retire from international football, scored the only goal of the game as Argentina was triumphant in Mendoza. 

The Barcelona star was the clear man-of-the-match, pulling the strings of the Argentina attack in one of his most dominant displays for the national team.

Tabarez found it difficult to describe the Argentinean's performance as the team moved above Uruguay into top spot in the CONMEBOL qualification standings for the 2018 World Cup. 

"All the Argentina attacks were through Messi," the Uruguayan said. "He is a player that you cannot describe, you can only see him, marvel and admire what he does.

"Argentina have some great players with a lot of experience, and they are the best team in the world according to FIFA, and I agree. 

"They have Messi who is a player with a level above anybody else. We knew it would be a very difficult game, but we know that today the qualifiers are far from over," added Tabarez.

Despite a man advantage for the entire second half following Paulo Dybala's red card, Uruguay was unable to find the back of the net for the first time in qualifying for Russia 2018. 

"We had a good first half but we were overcome. In the second half, in some plays, we balanced the game and lowered the rhythm of the rival," Tabarez added.

"We come out like in like any game with the disappointment of not having gotten a result, but if we look at the table we still have a long way and many more opportunities we go before we can qualify."