Higuain dropped for decisive WC qualifiers

Aug 11, 2017 - 6:31 PM Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain has been dropped by Argentina for two crucial South American World Cup qualifiers.

Forwards Mauro Icardi and Sergio Aguero were picked instead by coach Jorge Sampaoli on Friday.

Lionel Messi and Paulo Dybala were also named in a squad expected to be added to by the Argentine Football Association.

Sampaoli didn't say why he dropped Higuain, but Argentine media speculated the coach wasn't impressed by Higuain's effort in the 1-0 win over Brazil in June in Australia. A slow-moving Higuain was replaced by Joaquin Correa in the second half.

Higuain, one of the top goalscorers in Serie A, will miss matches at Uruguay on August 31 and at home against Venezuela five days later. Argentina has four qualifiers to play, and is fifth in the standings. Only the top four qualify directly for Russia next year.

The fifth-placed team in South America will play a team from Oceania for a World Cup spot.

The match against Uruguay at Estadio Centenario de Montevideo will be Sampaoli's first in this World Cup campaign. Since he replaced Edgardo Bauza, Argentina have won friendlies against Brazil and Singapore.

Aguero and midfielder Javier Pastore were recalled, as was Inter Milan captain Icardi, who was overlooked by Bauza.

Source: AAP

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