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Sabella happy with winning start

Kolkata: Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella, who on Friday made his debut at the helm of affairs in the FIFA international friendly against Venezuela, praised his boys for his side`s 1-0 victory and said it was good to start off on a winning note.

Argentina faced some resistance from Venezuela before prevailing over them by a Nicolas Otamendi goal in the 67th minute at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan.

Sabella surprised many by taking a time out in the match but said he took the permission of the referee and the opposition coach before doing that.

"I spoke to Venezuela coach and then the referee and after taking permission we agreed to stop for two minutes for the hot and humid conditions," he said.

Sabella said his side are looking forward to play against Venezuela in the World Cup qualifiers on October 11.

"It feels happy that we won. It`s good to win the first match. I am looking forward to our next match against the same team in the World Cup qualifiers," he said.

The stadium`s artificial turf was much criticised for the hard surface but it, however, earned praised from the Argentine coach.

"We are not used to play. But it`s very very good. it was in very good condition," he said.

Asked about the power tripping during the Venezuela post-match press conference, Sabella smiled and said, "The light problem is all over the world."

On whether his team was too much dependent on Messi, Sabella said, "We have a lot of midfield players who have control over the game. Three or four offensive midfielders like Pastore, Sosa and Di Maria are giving the supply to Messi."

Sabella acknowledged the huge crowd support for Messi and said, "History in football says that our players are phenomenal. Messi is a great player. He stole the show. He is admired wherever he play all over the world there will be a lot of people."

Venezuela dominated in the first half with two good chances, and Sabella, when asked if his side`s attack lacked firepower, said, "I like to play with midfield players who have the control of the game. Messi played with Higuain. They were quite attacking in the midfield."

Messi missed a few chances, including from freekicks, but Sabella said he is still the world`s best player.

"Beckham was one of the best in free kick. Messi is very good too. As a footballer Messi is great in all parts of the game," the coach said.

On Messi`s outing as captain, Sabella said, "He was impressive as captain. I will give six out of 10 for the team."

PTI

From Zee News

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