Bolivia signs new coach Zago to lead a comeback in World Cup qualifying

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia's soccer body announced on Tuesday the signing of Brazilian coach Antonio Carlos Zago to seek a comeback in South American World Cup qualifying after four matches. He will replace Gustavo Costas, who was fired last week.

Zago, a former defender at Roma and several Brazilian clubs, is taking over shortly before two rounds of the round-robin competition in November. He was introduced by the head of Bolivia's soccer federation, Fernando Costa.

Bolivia has zero points after four rounds. It will take on Peru at home on Nov. 16 and then play at Uruguay five days later.

“I am proud to defend this country. We have to start adding points and get a better position,” the 54-year-old Zago said in a news conference. Last year, he won the Bolivian championship as coach of Bolivar.

The next World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada is expanding to a 48-team format, meaning direct entry to the top six teams in South America. The seventh-place team will contest an intercontinental playoff for a berth.


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