Messi made the difference - Pekerman

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Colombia coach Jose Pekerman felt Lionel Messi was the difference in his team's World Cup qualifying loss to Argentina.

Messi's stunning early free-kick was followed by two assists for the Barcelona maestro in his team's 3-0 victory on Tuesday.

Pekerman lamented conceding the early goal against an Argentina team who came into the clash on the back of a four-game winless run.

"They scored the first goal and that strengthened them," he said.

"We started the game well and thought it was going to have another way. If it happened the other way around, Argentina also would've felt it.

"After the first and second goal, we complicated the game and Messi made the difference."

The result saw Colombia fall to sixth in the CONMEBOL standings, while they failed to score in both games this month.

Pekerman acknowledged the difficulties his team were having in attack.

"It's not been easy for us to find a goal," he said. "[Radamel] Falcao played a good game, always looked like scoring."