Sampaoli left with 'bitter taste' after Uruguay draw

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Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli was left with a "bitter taste" after his side drew 0-0 against Uruguay in World Cup qualifying.

In Sampaoli's first competitive match in charge, Argentina were unable to find a breakthrough in Montevideo on Thursday, leaving them in fifth - the play-off spot - in CONMEBOL qualifying.

The former Sevilla coach was disappointed his team failed to win, with their place at Russia 2018 far from assured.

"We needed to win because of the situation in the table. This result still leaves us out of direct qualification," Sampaoli said.

"We came looking for something else... we have a bitter taste."

Sampaoli started Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi, but the visitors were unable to find a goal.

Barcelona star Messi received particular praise from Sampaoli, whose team host Venezuela on Tuesday.

"The three tried, had chances," he said. "There was even a penalty that could have been given to Icardi.

"Messi was huge. Throughout the game, we saw the Messi who really took over and made a very good match."