Scaloni calls for VAR review after Messi goal chalked off

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni called for a more rigorous set of criteria for the Video Assistant Referee after Messi's probable winner for the side against Paraguay was denied.

Messi side-footed home from around 12 metres to complete a long and flowing counter-attack but play was hauled back for a foul committed in the Argentine half at the very start of the move.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni called for a more rigorous set of criteria for the Video Assistant Referee after Lionel Messis potential match-winning goal was chalked off for an infringement in its 1-1 draw with Paraguay.

Messi side-footed home from around 12 metres to complete a long and flowing counter-attack but play was hauled back for a foul committed in the Argentine half at the very start of the move.

The decision meant Argentina had to settle for one point in a game in which it had more of both the possession and the chances after going behind to a first-half penalty.

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"I think there has to be a way of uniting the themes of the VAR," Scaloni said. "I'm not speaking of good or bad faith, but in uniting the criteria."

"We are left with a bitter sweet taste because Argentina did everything to win. In the second half we pinned our opponents back. We also have to recognise the teams attitude in always believing they could win."

The two-time world champion was unbeaten in nine games going into Thursdays qualifier but went behind after 22 minutes to an Angel Romero spot kick.

It lost Exequiel Palacios to a bad foul by Romero soon after but Palacios replacement Giovani lo Celso took the corner that Nicolas Gonzalez headed home four minutes before half time for his first international goal.

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The result means that Paraguay, who missed out on the finals in 2014 and 2018, is unbeaten in its first three qualifiers for Qatar 2022 and has five points.

Argentina is also unbeaten and has seven points.

It goes to Peru next Tuesday, while Paraguay will host point-less Bolivia.

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