Argentina sacks coach Bauza

With Argentina's participation in the 2018 World Cup up in the air, the team has moved to sack struggling coach Edgardo Bauza.

Departing Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza.   -  Getty Images

Edgardo Bauza has been sacked as Argentina coach after less than a year in the position, it was announced on Monday.

The 59-year-old succeeded Gerardo Martino in August, the former Barcelona boss standing down after leading Argentina to a second consecutive Copa America final defeat to Chile.

However, Bauza oversaw just three wins in his eight matches at the helm, with the South American powerhouse consequently slipping out of the automatic qualification spots for the 2018 World Cup in CONMEBOL qualifying.

The former Sao Paulo boss saw his future come under serious doubt following a 2-0 defeat to Bolivia in the altitude of La Paz last month, a match it played without suspended talismanic captain Lionel Messi.

Bauza was initially backed by newly elected Argentine Football Association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia, but a change in stance has finally resulted in his dismissal.

"We told Bauza that he is no longer the coach of the national team," Tapia told reporters on Monday.

Argentina sit fifth in qualifying for Russia 2018, a position that carries an intercontinental play-off spot, with four games remaining.

Bauza's replacement faces the no small task of a friendly against Brazil – which has already booked its place at the World Cup – in Melbourne on June 9.

Argentina's next qualifier will be against Uruguay in Montevideo, with home matches against Venezuela and Peru followed by a tricky trip to Ecuador.

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