Argentina coach Bauza: We will qualify for Russia
ARGENTINA v COLOMBIA
(Today, 7.25am, Singtel TV Ch 109 - Eleven)
Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza has dismissed fears that they will fail to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Last Thursday's 3-0 defeat by Brazil has left Argentina sixth in South America qualification ahead of their home clash with Colombia this morning (Singapore time).
Bauza's side have won only four of their 11 matches and defeat in San Juan would put a dent in their hopes of booking one of the four automatic qualifying spots for the tournament in Russia.
They are a point behind the top four, with an inferior goal difference, but Bauza is confident they will qualify.
"I never put qualifying for Russia 2018 in doubt," he said.
"The points we've lost hurt, but we still depend on ourselves. The group is strong and that gives us confidence.
"We've lost points that we didn't think we would and it's normal that criticism has come out. Hopefully, in San Juan, the people can spread the importance that this shirt has. We need that support.
MESSI & CO. TAKEN ILL
"We haven't had a regularity in our play. The players have to impose the ability they have... They know their condition and what they can do. I trust that.
"I work thinking about going to win the next game, as always. We're looking forward to it. We're thinking about playing a good game and winning."
Argentina, who have won just one of their five matches since losing the Copa America final to Chile on penalties in the summer, are two points behind third-placed Colombia.
Jose Pekerman's team drew 0-0 with Chile in Barranquilla last Thursday and have only one win in their last four qualifiers and are six points behind leaders Brazil.
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi had to reach for the sick bag yesterday morning (Singapore time) as the plane carrying the Argentina team endured a bumpy ride from Buenos Aires to San Juan.
The Barcelona superstar and several of his teammates took ill due to the turbulence during the journey to the city near the Andes where Argentina will face Colombia.
- Wire Services.