BUENOS AIRES: Diego Maradona could not have asked for a better result in his first official match as Argentina coach, with his team crushing Venezuela 4-0 here on Saturday.
Barcelona playmaker Lionel Messi set Argentina on their way to victory in this 2010 World Cup qualifier with the first goal on 26 minutes after a 1-2 with Carlos Tevez.
He then provided the cross that led to Manchester United striker Tevez doubling the advantage two minutes after the break.
Maximiliano Rodriguez and Sergio Aguero, father of Maradona's grandson, completed the rout with goals in the 51st and 73rd minutes.
This was Argentina's 16th win over Venezuela in as many meetings, and Maradona described the outcome as "better than expected". "Reality has overcome fiction," added the Argentine soccer legend, who adds this to friendly wins away to France and Scotland.
It pushed Argentina up to second in their qualifying group, four points behind Paraguay.