Bauza: Argentina aren't dependent on Messi

Argentina are not dependent on star Lionel Messi, says head coach Edgardo Bauza.

Edgardo Bauza does not believe Argentina are reliant on Lionel Messi after the captain and country's all-time leading 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 goal, which helped Argentina move third in the standings - eight points adrift of leaders Brazil.

READ MORE: Argentina 1 Chile 0 - Messi penalty the difference

Asked about Messi's importance to Argentina, Bauza told reporters: "I do not think the team is Messi-dependent.

"I think he played a good game. Time to work, we will improve."

Messi's 16th-minute spot-kick separated the two South American giants at the Estadio Antonio Vespucio Liberti.

The referee awarded a penalty after Jose Fuenzalida had brought down Angel Di Maria in the area.

Chile had a goal correctly ruled out for offside before Nicolas Otamendi missed a golden opportunity for Argentina.

Alexis Sanchez rattled the crossbar with a free-kick as Chile left empty-handed.

"I'm very happy because we won a game that came out as we imagined it," Bauza said.

"For me, the team played a great game that contained a great team like Chile.

"We failed to recover the ball. We could not have it in the last 15 minutes. We won against a great rival.

"For me, we did not play a bad game."

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