Rio de Janeiro: Argentina striker Lionel Messi says finishing first in the World Cup qualifying phase is not the team's priority.

Argentina went to the top of the South American confederation's Conmebol standings Friday with a 3-1 victory over Paraguay in Cordoba, reports media.

Messi twice hit the woodwork before curling in a trademark free-kick in the 63rd minute at the Mario Kempes stadium.

Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria also scored for Argentina while Jonathan Fabbro netted for Paraguay.

"Finishing first in qualifying is not the most important thing," Messi said after the match."What matters most is to get to the World Cup in good form and playing well as a team.

"We knew it was going to be tough against Paraguay and that they would be compact in defence but fortunately we were able get the first goal early. After they levelled we didn't drop our heads and managed to get the result we wanted."

(Agencies)

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