Ecuador 1-1 Argentina

Messi disappointed with stalemate

June 12, 2013
By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi admitted his disappointment at Argentina's 1-1 draw with against Ecuador on Tuesday, but insists the Albicelestes remain in control of their World Cup qualifying group.

Messi was substituted on for Sergio Aguero but could not make an impact on the scoreboard
GettyImagesMessi was substituted on for Sergio Aguero but could not make an impact on the scoreboard

Sergio Aguero's fourth minute penalty gave Argentina the early ascendency in Ecuador, but the hosts equalised shortly after through Segundo Castillo.

Argentina were unable to break Ecuador in the second half and were forced to settle for a point, which keeps them atop the CONMEBOL standings by three points, with second-placed Colombia having a game in hand.

Messi was substituted on for Aguero in the 61st minute and believes five draws in qualifying is too many for Argentina.

"We had what it takes to win the game, but we are getting used to draws," Messi told Argentina's Channel 7. "We failed to take profit from free space in the first half, but we are close to the qualification. That is what matters.

"We scored the first goal very quickly. To play here is very tough. Then they equalised."

With Ecuador's Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa situated at 2800 metres above sea level, goalscorer Aguero admitted the conditions played a part in Argentina's performance, although he credited Ecuador, who edged closer to World Cup qualification.

"I found it hard to breathe very quickly, but finished fine," Aguero said. "I thought playing at this altitude would be more difficult. The Ecuadorians are physically strong and are very tough to beat here. We suffered quite a lot."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report