Sam­paoli goes with youth in lag­ging bid for World Cup spot

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - SPORTS -

BUENOS AIRES, Ar­gentina — Ar­gentina coach Jorge Sam­paoli has put his faith in youth again as he tries to sal­vage the na­tion’s place in next year’s World Cup in Rus­sia. Sam­paoli in­cluded 24-year-old In­ter Mi­lan for­ward Mauro Icardi in the squad on Fri­day, again sidelin­ing vet­eran Gon­zalo Higuain of Ju­ven­tus. Sam­paoli also left Higuain off the team for Ar­gentina’s pre­vi­ous two World Cup qual­i­fiers. Ar­gentina is out of the top four au­to­matic qual­i­fy­ing places from South Amer­ica go­ing into its fi­nal two qual­i­fiers. It faces Peru in Buenos Aires on Oct. 5, and plays Ecuador in Quito in the An­des on Oct. 10.

Ar­gentina fin­ished run­ner-up to Ger­many in the last World Cup but has scored only 16 goals in 16 qual­i­fy­ing matches de­spite the

pres­ence of Lionel Messi, ar­guably soc­cer’s best player.

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