Argentina recall Higuain for Brazil, Colombia qualifiers

Published 10/26/2015, 3:06 PM EDT
Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring against Fiorentina during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy, October 18, 2015. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina, still without the injured Lionel Messi and goalless in their opening two 2018 World Cup qualifiers, recalled striker Gonzalo Higuain on Monday for next month’s games against Brazil and Colombia.

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Coach Gerardo Martino dropped the Napoli marksman earlier in October for the South American group matches from which Argentina took one point after a shock 2-0 home defeat by Ecuador followed by a 0-0 draw in Paraguay.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero was missing from the squad posted on the Argentine FA website (www.afa.org.ar) because he is still recovering from a leg injury that forced him off after half an hour against Ecuador.

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Carlos Tevez, looking for his first international goal in four years, is retained as back-up while Juventus’ Paulo Dybala, who won his first cap as a substitute in the draw in Asuncion, has also been included in a 25-man squad.

Messi is expected to be out for a total of seven to eight weeks after injuring his knee while playing for Barcelona a month ago.

Argentina are seventh in the 10-nation South American group, five points behind leaders Uruguay, Ecuador and Chile.

They host arch-rivals Brazil in Buenos Aires on Nov. 12 and visit Colombia five days later.

Squad:

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Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Nahuel Guzman (UANL Tigres), Agustin Marchesin (Santos Laguna)

Defenders: Pablo Zabaleta, Nicolas Otamendi, Martin Demichelis (all Manchester City), Emmanuel Mas (San Lorenzo), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Facundo Roncaglia (Fiorentina), Ezequiel Garay (Zenit St Petersburg), Ramiro Funes Mori (Everton)

Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Matias Kranevitter (River Plate), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Angel Di Maria, Javier Pastore (both Paris St Germain), Enzo Perez (Valencia), Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur)

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Forwards: Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Carlos Tevez (Boca Juniors), Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris St Germain).

(Writing by Rex Gowar; Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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