Aguero collapses at halftime as Argentina loses to Nigeria in Russia

Reuters
His club Manchester City said the 29-year-old Aguero had been cleared by doctors to return to England as planned after he suffered what it called "a dizzy spell".
Reuters
AFP

Argentina's Sergio Aguero scores the team's second goal against Nigeria during their international friendly in Krasnodar, Russia, on November 14, 2017. The striker collapsed in the dressing room at halftime as his team ended up losing 2-4.

Argentina striker Sergio Aguero collapsed in the dressing room at halftime before his team lost 2-4 to fellow World Cup qualifier Nigeria after taking a two-goal lead in a friendly in Krasnodar, Russia, on Tuesday.

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) said in a statement that Aguero, who scored in the first half, was taken away for routine examinations but added: "The player is well".

His English Premier League club Manchester City said the 29-year-old Aguero had been cleared by doctors to return to England as planned after he suffered what they called "a dizzy spell".

"Sergio never lost consciousness, and was taken to hospital for precautionary medical checks," City said on its official website (www.mancity.com).

He was taken by team doctor Donato Villani to a clinic in Krasnodar.

"He felt bad twice, and with the medical history he has, since he was operated on when he was 15, we wanted to be sure it was nothing," said Villani, referencing a previous heart problem.

"We took him to hospital to make sure everything was normal, we prefer to wait to be sure."

Aguero, City's record goalscorer, had a health scare less than two months ago when he suffered a broken rib in a car accident in Amsterdam.

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli rested Lionel Messi following the 1-0 win over next year's World Cup host Russia on Saturday and it seemed that it could cope without him.

Ever Banega curled in a free kick, awarded after Nigeria goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi picked the ball up outside his area, in the 28th minute and Aguero finished off a sweeping counter-attack eight minutes later.

But Kelechi Iheanacho inspired Nigeria's fightback.

First, he emulated Banega by scoring from a free kick on the stroke of halftime and then set up the equalizer by pulling the ball back for Alex Iwobi to net seven minutes after the re-start.

The Super Eagles took the lead two minutes after that when Brian Idowu sidefooted home from the edge of the area to finish off a counter-attack.

A superb goal by Iwobi completed the comeback in the 73rd as he collected the ball, slipped it between Javier Mascherano's legs and fired past Agustin Marchesin.

Argentina staggered through its World Cup qualifying campaign, only clinching its place at the finals with a 3-1 win in Ecuador in their final match.

"It's a difficult game to explain," said Sampaoli. "We could have been 3-0 or 4-0 ahead in the first half and we went in with a 2-1 lead.

"My biggest worry was the way the team played when we were behind. I know we are capable and have the individual talent to be able to get out of these situations and I'm worried about what happened tonight.

"We played an incredible first half but we lost our way in a match which could confuse a lot of people."

Aguero will be assessed by City's medical team ahead of this weekend’s EPL trip to Leicester City.


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