Santiago: Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain each scored as Argentina won 2-1 at Chile on Tuesday to remain atop the South American World Cup qualifying standings. Messi scored in the 28th and Higuain added another in the 31st. Felipe Gutierrez scored for Chile in second-half stoppage time.
Argentina has 20 points from nine games. Chile stayed on 12 points, and the loss will put more pressure on under-fire coach Claudio Borghi. Messi took a perfect through-ball from Fernando Gago and then slotted the ball home from 12 meters (yards).
Higuain doubled the lead when he broke down the right flank, cut inside and hit a left-foot shot into the net. Sergio Aguero hit the post in the 44th and Angel Di Maria came close in first-half stoppage time.
Argentina had more chances in the second half, and the late goal for Chile made the result look closer than it really was. It was Messi's 31st goal for Argentina, closing in on Diego Maradona's career tally of 33. Gabriel Batistuta leads the all-time list with 54.