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Argentina have tough WCQ test after Bauza

Five Aside
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 By PA Sport

Outgoing Edgardo Bauza confident Argentina will make 2018 World Cup

Shaka Hislop feels Bauza's sacking was a long time coming, but will this turn things around for lacklustre Argentina?

Sacked Argentina head coach Edgardo Bauza believes his former team will still qualify for the World Cup.

Bauza's reign as coach was ended after just eight months in the post by new AFA president Claudio Tapia, with their place in Russia next summer far from certain.

The 59-year-old Bauza was appointed Albiceleste coach last August after Gerardo Martino resigned in the wake of the team's defeat to Chile in the Copa America final, but oversaw only three wins in eight World Cup qualifiers.

Defeats against Paraguay, Brazil and in their most recent qualifier against Bolivia last month have left Argentina in fifth spot in their World Cup qualifying group on 22 points, 11 behind leaders Brazil. The top four qualify automatically for Russia next year, with the fifth-placed nation facing a playoff against a team from the Oceania confederation.

At a news conference to announce his departure the former Sao Paulo coach said: "Being head coach of Argentina has been a wonderful experience. I believe that Argentina will qualify for the World Cup.

"I thank the President, Claudio Tapia, because he was very frank when it comes to dialogue.

"I want to thank the players. It has been eight good months, leaving me very happy.''

Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli and Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone have both been linked with the Argentina post.

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