Argentina aims to pull away in World Cup qualifiers

June 01, 2012, Friday/ 17:11:00

Barcelona’s serial hat-trick scorer Lionel Messi will be looking to take up where he last left off as Argentina captain when he leads his country against Ecuador in a 2014 World Cup qualifier on Saturday.

Messi scored his first and only hat-trick for Argentina in a 3-1 friendly win away to Switzerland in February, so pasting over cracks in coach Alejandro Sabella’s defense. Right back Pablo Zabaleta pointed to the imbalance of an Argentina side with a world class group of forwards but a rearguard short of choice in full backs and quality in central defenders. “To have Leo [Messi], Pipa [Gonzalo Higuain] and Kun [Sergio Aguero] gives you maximum security,” Zabaleta said.

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