Argentina duo eye Copa America places

BY foxsports • April 19, 2011

Argentina defender Ivan Pillud and forward Gabriel Hauche are desperate to use Wednesday's friendly against Ecuador to make their case for Copa America places.

The Racing Club duo are expected to start the exhibition match, in which both sides will field locally-based players as the game is not being held on a FIFA-recognised international window.

Pillud has described the match in Mar del Plata as "a huge chance"' to be named in the final squad for the Copa America, which is being held on home turf in July.

"The coach (Sergio Batista) has the final decision, but this game is an opportunity to show what it takes ahead of the Copa America,'' said Pillud.

The left-back expects the lack of depth in his position to help him.

"In my position, there are very good players but also very few, so I must take advantage of this chance.''

Hauche, who scored to help Racing beat arch rival Independiente 2-0 in the Argentinian league last Saturday, insists starting the match is not crucial.

"To me, being here is very important,'' he said.

"Everybody here wants to play in the Copa America. The win over Independiente and the goal I scored make me feel much more confident.''

Ecuador boss Reinaldo Rueda, meanwhile, is hopeful his team can put in a positive performance at the Estadio Jose Maria Minella.

Rueda, who has also selected only domestic-based players, was forced to make late changes as Deportivo Quito forward Luis Fernando Saritama and Barcelona duo Holger Matamoros and Jose Luis Perlaza withdrew.

Barcelona's Dennis Quinonez and Jose Madrid, of El Nacional, were notified Monday to fly to Buenos Aires.

Colombia-born Rueda said: "My job with the national team is based on analysing the players' form as I'm focused on the Copa America and the start of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

"We are calm ahead of the friendly against Argentina despite the problems we have had. It is time to leave them behind and think about playing a good match.''

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