Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli pleased with progress shown in Italy win

26 March, 2018, 02:46 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • Lionel Messi celebrating Barcelona goal

He could also be absent for Argentina's meeting with Spain at the Wanda Metropolitano on Tuesday night.

The Argentina No 9 woke Gianluigi Buffon on a couple of occasions, as did Di Maria, who was helped by an encouraging display from Nicolas Tagliafico behind him at left back.

The crowd began chanting for Messi to be sent on, but their appeals were in vain.

Sampaoli was particularly pleased with the performance of Juventus' Gonzalo Higuain, who was at the heart of a lot of their good attacking play.

Messi reportedly suffered a groin strain in training on Thursday, so the Barcelona forward was an unused substitute as Argentina kicked off their preparations for the World Cup in June. We are playing well as a team, the philosophy is sensational...

"On the last day [of training] we made the game plan with Leo but unfortunately that injury appeared and we chose to not include him", Sampaoli said of his tactics.

The team seemed to click together even more smoothly when Cristian Pavon replaced Lo Celso later in the half.

Sampaoli will have been pleased with the manner of both his side's goals and the teamwork involved in them.

"It's a shame we didn't score a goal and I am disappointed, as we had played well and could've avoided conceding those two goals".

"We want the Argentine national team to be one which has a defined game plan, and then gets behind it".

Although Argentina is regarded as a contender at this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation and Italy is in rebuilding mode after failing to qualify for football's showcase event for the first time in 60 years, both teams seemed equally lacking in ideas and structure and overly dependent on their star players to rescue them during Friday night's game, reports EFE news agency.

Speaking to Rai Sports, Sampaoli said: "Icardi and Dybala are both important players and everything is undecided for the World Cup squad going to Russian Federation".



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