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

“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.”

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“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 team’s attitude in always believing they could win.”

The two-time world champions were unbeaten in nine games going into Thursday’s qualifier but went behind after 22 minutes to an Angel Romero spot-kick.

They lost Exequiel Palacios to a horrible 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.

The result means that Paraguay, who missed out on the finals in 2014 and 2018, are unbeaten in their first three qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and have five points.

Argentina are also unbeaten and have seven points. They go to Peru next Tuesday, while Paraguay will host pointless Bolivia.

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