Carlos Tevez has revealed he knew he was offside for his opening goal in Argentina's 3-1 World Cup second round victory over Mexico and admitted it was "selfish'' that he had not owned up to it.
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Argentina went ahead as Lionel Messi forced the ball goalwards and Tevez, who had initially been closed down by Mexico goalkeeper Oscar Perez, was ahead of play in an offside position when he provided the decisive touch.
Replays showed the Manchester City striker was beyond the last Mexican defender when Messi played it on, but Italian referee Roberto Rosetti and his assistants failed to spot it.
There were no question marks about Tevez's second goal - Argentina's third - in the second half as he drilled one in from long range in a 3-1 win which sets up a quarter-final clash with Germany in Cape Town, but he accepted he had been lucky with the first one.
"At first I thought he (Rosetti) was saying that it was not a goal, then I saw the signal and I started (celebrating) and I was happy,'' Tevez said. "I know I was offside, I know it was selfish but as long as they say it was a goal it's OK for me and the team.''
Tevez insisted confidence was now high in the Argentina camp that they could secure a third world title to add to those won in 1978 and 1986.
"The team is growing in every single game," he said. "In every game it is getting stronger and we can win and that is the important thing. We can win the World Cup.''
Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez also hailed the performance, saying: "It was a tough game but the national team of Argentina did a very good job, we scored three goals, we could have had more.
"Tevez was fantastic, so was the whole team, we have a very good group with incredible quality. We want to take on board all the experience of (coach) Diego Maradona.
"He won the World Cup (in 1986) and that is the experience we want to take from him. Germany is a very good team and it will be a very tough game, but if we want to be in the semi-final we have to win this game.''
Rosetti's error, combined with an even worse one earlier in the day by Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda in the England-Germany game when he did not give a perfectly good Frank Lampard goal, has heightened calls for the introduction of video technology, but Gutierrez felt referees were doing all they could under the circumstances.
"This is football - we saw on the television that it was offside," Gutierrez said. "It's very tough for Mexico but we can do nothing. Sometimes the referee can make a mistake.
"The referee can make a mistake because things can happen in one second. The game is very fast, so we cannot say anything (bad) about the referee.''
Barcelona team-mates Messi and Rafael Marquez experienced differing emotions at the end.
"Mexico had a lot of the ball at the beginning like they always do but we were lucky enough to get the first goal," Messi said. "That helped us in the rest of the game. It was very important to win this game against a great rival.''
His Mexican club-mate was clearly angered by the decision to award the first goal and said: "We all saw it. A great team like this Argentina side doesn't need this kind of help. What more can I say? We are sad because of the way it happened, there is not a reason to be happy.''
For Mexico it was a fifth straight World Cup second round exit, while Argentina will hope that, having beaten Mexico at this same point in 2006, they can now change history and eliminate Germany, who beat them on penalties four years ago.