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Sources: Messi's Barcelona exit clause expires

 By PA Sport

Argentina manager Gerardo Martino apologises for team in Paraguay draw

Angel Di Maria and Argentina once again came away with less than three points in a 0-0 draw with Paraguay.

Argentina head coach Gerardo Martino apologised for more points dropped after his side could only draw 0-0 with Paraguay in their second World Cup qualifier.

After losing at home to Ecuador last week, Martino's side were chasing a victory to make amends but were thwarted by their own poor finishing and an industrious home side.

"We came to try to recover the points we missed out on in the first game,'' Martino said. "We're sorry we couldn't get the three points which we came for. I'm not satisfied with a point.

"I liked what we did in the first half, when we moved the ball around well, but not the second half when we didn't flow.

"The bad thing about this moment is the amount of points we have, mainly the defeat to Ecuador.''

Martino regretted the "more sporadic'' forward forays in a second half when Argentina fell flat.

Carlos Tevez missed a good headed chance midway through the first half, and made way for young Juventus striker Paulo Dybala late on after taking a blow in the face.

Dybala had a clear chance to make his debut a memorable one but blazed over the crossbar in the closing minutes.

According to Argentinian newspaper La Nacion, Martino could not guarantee Lionel Messi would be fit for the match against Brazil next month.

Barcelona superstar Messi is sidelined with a knee injury, and Argentina missed the presence of their talisman.

Messi could also be forced to sit out the Nov. 13 clash in Buenos Aires with Argentina's great rivals.

"My [last] communication with Leo was a fortnight ago,'' said Martino. "His progress is within the normal range but I can't make a prediction about his presence in the next squad.''


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