Juan Antonio Pizzi hired as Saudi Arabia's 3rd coach in 2017

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — World Cup-bound Saudi Arabia has hired Juan Antonio Pizzi as coach less than a week after firing Edgardo Bauza.

Pizzi, Saudi Arabia's third coach in 2017, is expected to represent the country on Friday in Moscow at the draw for next year's World Cup.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency says federation officials and Pizzi signed the deal in Tokyo. Pizzi guided Chile to the 2016 Copa America title but quit after the Chilean team failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Bauza was fired by Saudi Arabia after only five friendlies in charge, following losses to Portugal and Bulgaria. He had been appointed in September to replace Bert van Marwijk, who was fired despite guiding the team to its first World Cup since 2006.

Bauza has been fired twice this year by teams in the World Cup lineup. He lost the Argentina job in April, after eight months in charge, when the two-time World Cup champions risked missing out on qualification.

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