The idea to add some leadership skills to exiting teenage talents could well pay off if the Swiss coach can create stability.
Surprise absentees in Scaloni's squad were Paris Saint-Germain forwards Angel Di Maria and Mauro Icardi as well as Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero.
Nishikori needed six match points to seal the win in two hours at the ATP Masters event held behind closed doors at the Foro Italico.
The South American qualifiers had been due to begin in March but were suspended because of the global health crisis.
After selling Ivan Rakitic to Sevilla, Barca are currently looking to sell striker Luis Suarez, with Juventus a possible destination, while Arturo Vidal is close to joining Inter Milan.
Latin America is one of the worst-affected regions by the pandemic, accounting for around a third of the confirmed global death toll, which exceeds 900,000.
The Spanish team will now entertain the winner of the game between Locomotive Tbilisi and Dinamo Moskva next week in the penultimate qualifying round. Enditem
MADRID, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Defending La Liga champions Real Madrid kick off their 2020-21 league campaign with a difficult visit to play Real Sociedad on Sunday evening.
The 23-year-old forward has signed a five-year contract with a reported transfer fee of 41 million pounds (52 million U.S. dollars).
Jablonec took the lead for the first time 12 minutes into the second half after the Slovak striker Ivan Schranz tapped in a loose lob from his teammate past the outstretched Dunajska Streda's goalkeeper Martin Jedlicka.
Zhao's compatriots Lu Ning and Xu Si both competed in the other group on Thursday as David Gilbert edged them out with an advantage of the break.