December 8, 2013
National teamSaturday, September 28, 2013
Squad picked for qualifier games
Gonzalo Higuaín and Javier Mascherano, who missed Argentina’s 5-2 win in Paraguay last month that secured their place at the 2014 World Cup, were recalled to the squad yesterday. Both have completed two-match suspensions while central defenders Ezequiel Garay and Federico Fernández also come back from one-game bans.
Argentina, unbeaten in eight matches this year including friendlies, host eliminated Peru on October 11 at River Plate’s Monumental Stadium. Four days later the Argentines travel to Montevideo to face Uruguay who at that stage may still have not secured their berth in the finals in Brazil.
All the foreign-based players in the squad that travelled to Asunción were retained while Metalist Kharkiv attacking midfielder José Sosa earned a recall in coach Alejandro Sabella’s 23-man list chosen yesterday.
Argentina lead the nine-nation South American group with 29 points, three more than Colombia who have all but secured their place at the finals for the first time since 1998. Third-placed Chile (24 points) and Ecuador (22) and Uruguay (22) are vying for the other two automatic berths and the playoff in November against Jordan that goes to the team finishing fifth.
Squad: Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Monaco), Mariano Andújar (Catania); Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan), Garay (Benfica), Fernández (Getafe), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle United), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon), José Basanta (Monterrey), Cristian Ansaldi (Zenit St Petersburg); Midfielders: Mascherano (Barcelona), Ever Banega (Valencia), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Augusto Fernández (Celta Vigo), Ángel Di María (Real Madrid), Ricardo Álvarez (Inter Milan), Erik Lamela (Tottenham), Sosa (Metalist Kharkiv); Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Sergio Agüero (Manchester City), Higuaín (Napoli), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris St Germain) and Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan).