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Gonzalo Higuain criticizes state of pitch in New Jersey

Argentina and Ecuador played out a drab 0-0 draw on Friday night in New Jersey, but Gonzalo Higuaín is more concerned about the pitch at MetLife Stadium. The venue normally plays host to American football games, including the home games of the New York Giants and Jets. But that, according to Higuaín, made it unacceptable for a soccer match that, despite lacking Lionel Messi, included some of the world’s brightest talents.

Higuaín, quoted in Argentina sports outlet Olè, was upset with the conditions in New Jersey, where chunks of turf had been laid over the artificial playing surface. The Napoli forward, who went down with a knee injury but appeared to shake it off, stated that conditions made the players’ feet sink more than normal, creating hazardous playing conditions. The field was, Higuaín said, in no condition to play on.

Ezequiel Lavezzi agreed with his Argentina teammate, saying that the turf was irregular, which caused the ball to slow down. The PSG attacker felt both sides were lucky not to have anyone seriously injured.

It’s now on to St. Louis for Argentina, where they will face Bosnia and Hercegovina on Tuesday. Higuaín, Lavezzi and their teammates will be hoping that the biggest issue there will be faint traces of lines left over from baseball season. The same goes for the fans of their clubs, most of whom are already fed up with what seem to be pointless friendlies. Putting players at risk won’t endear FIFA to anyone.