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Sabella praises Argentina after 1-1 draw

La Paz: Argentina missed the chance to all but secure their place at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Bolivia.

The hosts went ahead in the 25th minute Tuesday courtesy a Marcelo Martins header before Ever Banega equalised by nodding in Clemente Rodriguez`s cross after good build-up play by Barcelona striker Lionel Messi.

After the match Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said he was satisfied with his team`s performance given the unfamiliar conditions of playing at almost 4000m above sea level.

"We dominated the match and were solid in all areas of the pitch. We are now even more optimistic than we were before but we still haven`t qualified. We can`t get ahead of ourselves," Sabella said.

Argentina are still top of the South America zone standings with 24 points from 11 matches, four points ahead of Ecuador, who displaced Colombia in second spot with a 4-1 rout of Paraguay.

In other games on Tuesday, Venezuela moved to fifth with a 1-0 victory over Colombia while Chile rose to fourth after beating Uruguay 2-0.