Barranquilla, Colombia: Two-time World Cup winners Argentina scored a vital 2-1 victory in their 2014 World Cup qualifier against Colombia here on Tuesday.

Goals by two-time world player of the year Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero saw the Argentinians - who have not won the trophy since 1986 - come from behind and join Copa America champions Uruguay at the top of the standings on seven points.

Uruguay -- World Cup semi-finalists last year -- were not playing and instead beat Italy 1-0 in Rome in a friendly.

Messi, who has thus far had two disappointing World Cup finals campaigns, had called on his team-mates to raise their game after only managing a 1-1 draw with bottom side Bolivia last Friday.

However, the first half did not go the visitors' way as first experienced defender Nicolas Burdisso was taken off on a stretcher in the 36th minute with what looked like a serious knee injury.

A minute before half-time it got worse as the hosts took the lead through Dorlan Pabon, his free kick taking a slight deflection on its way into the net.

Messi was at the heart of Argentina's game and his endeavours paid off on the hour mark as he was quickest to react when Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina failed to fend off a cross and and the Barcelona star was on hand to level the scores.

Messi shrugged off being brought down time and again by the physical Colombian defenders and started the move that gave the Argentinians their winner goal.

He fed Gonzalo Higuain, but the striker's shot was beaten out by Ospina only for Aguero to knock it into the net and give the Argentinians a much-needed win as they seek to reach the finals hosted by arch-rivals Brazil.