Sports

SPORTS: ARGENTINA 1-0 BRAZIL: COPA AMERICA FINAL – AS IT HAPPENED

Argentina win 1-0 over Brazil for 15th Copa América title
Messi finally wins first major trophy for national team



Argentina stun Brazil in Copa América final to end 28-year trophy drought



Fifty-nine touches. One shot. And a first major trophy for the great Lionel Messi after four runner-up finishes in tournament finals.




DCO Global News
Published on July 11, 2021
By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka



There’s the whistle and Argentina’s 28-year title drought is over! The Albiceleste have won 1-0 over Brazil to capture their 15th Copa América title, moving level with Uruguay for the most ever! Messi is on his knees and his Argentina team-mates have surrounded him by the touchline as a chorus of boos cascade down from the Maracanã stands!

On the other side of the pitch, a tearful Neymar is consoled by his team-mates.


90 min+3: Firmino is called for a hand ball about 35 yards from Brazil’s goal. Emiliano Martinez takes his good old time setting up the restart. Moments later Ederson makes a fully extended save to deny Argentina.


89 min: Two more crossed are cleared amid kitchen-sink time for Brazil as Argentina batten down the hatches. Then it’s Argentina on the counter with numbers and Messi is clear on goal … only to stumble to the ground in a heap.


87 min: Vinicius Junior wins a free kick for Brazil from a dangerous area toward the side of the area. Neymar whips it in and it’s blocked away, but Gabigol’s second-chance attempt is saved by Emiliano Martínez!


84 min: Brazil win a corner after Barbosa close-range chance off a through ball finds the outside netting, but Danilo sends Neymar’s service well over the crossbar.


81 min: Otamendi is shown yellow after vicious tackle of Neymar in the midfield. The players on both sides come together but the flare-up is extinguished and play resumes. High tempers and higher drama in the final reel.


79 min: Argentina counter with three substitutions: Germán Pezzella for Cristian Romero, Exequiel Palacios for the goalscorer Ángel Di María; and Nicolás González for Lautaro Martínez.


77 min: Brazil are finally able to get their substitutions into the match as Emerson comes on for Renan Lodi while Gabriel Barbosa takes Pacqueta’s place.


75 min: Di Maria takes on his defender 1v1 and sails a cross into the box, but it’s headed clear by a defender. The tension continues to build as the seconds tick away.


72 min: Lucas Paqueta is into the book with a yellow for a late tackle. Changes forthcoming for Brazil, who are approaching desperation time.


71 min: Lucas Paqueta runs onto a through ball but he’s well-defended and pulls a shot wide for an Argentina goal kick.


69 min: Brazil win a free kick but nothing comes from it. Moments later, De Paul is shown yellow after bringing down a hard-charging Neymar. The drama builds at the Maracanã.


66 min: Lionel Messi, still on zero goals in his fifth final and 10th major tournament, winds into the area but takes one too many touches and the ball is cleared with Di Maria nearby awaiting a run on goal.


63 min: Two substitutions in the 63rd minute. Argentina’s Nicolás Tagliafico is on for Giovani Lo Celso. For Brazil, Vinicius Junior enters in place of Everton.


56 min: A dangerous chance for Brazil as Neymar has a go from the middle of the area while surrounded by Argentina players. He goes down in a heap … and the decision from the referee is an offside ruling to the dismay of the hosts.


54 min: A fast and furious sequence over the past few minutes! Brazil appear to equalize though Richarlison, but the goal is correctly disallowed by VAR. Argentina then made a substitution, inserting Guido Rodriguez for Paredes. Then Richarlison nearly scores again, this time from an onside position, but his point-blank shot is parried away by Emiliano Martinez.


50 min: Messi darts into the area and slides it to Di Maria, whose shot is blocked. Brazil are on the counter in the blink of an eye, but Neymar is brought down by Lo Celso, who is promptly showed a yellow for his efforts.


46 min: And we’re under way in the second half. One change to note: Roberto Firmino, who was taken off for Lucas Paqueta at half-time of Brazil’s quarter-final win over Chile, is on for Fred, who picked up a yellow card way back in the third minute. He will be slotted into the Brazil middle three playing further up in more of an attacking position.


Half-time: Argentina 1-0 Brazil
Well, well, well. Argentina are halfway home to ending their 28-year trophy hoodoo after Ángel Di María’s gorgeous 22nd-minute goal. That it came despite a conspicuously quiet half from the in-form Lionel Messi will only unnerve Brazil fans more. Should this result hold, it will mark the Seleção’s first Copa América loss on home soil since a 1-0 defeat to Paraguay on 8 May 1949.


45 min: The fourth official Diego Haro from Peru signals for one minute of stoppage time.


43 min: Brazil win their first corner of the night but it’s cleared from danger. What a stout performance so far from the Argentina trio of De Paul, Paredes and Lo Celso, who have thoroughly bossed Brazil’s midfield from the jump, denying them time and space to operate.


37 min: Di Maria is down with an ankle injury near the goal line. The referee briefly stops play, but the match resumes shortly after and Argentina will continue with 10 men as the medical staff evaluates the goalscorer’s fitness.


34 min: Brazil are right back into the attack only moments after Messi’s missed shot and Neymar wins a free kick about 30 yards from the goal. Neymar’s attempt goes directly into the wall, however.


32 min: A badly misplayed ball out of the back by Argentina but Brazil can’t capitalize, surrendering possession almost immediately. A quick counter-attack ensues with Messi firing in an off-balance shot from just outside the area that skids wide of the goal.


29 min: Di Maria runs directly at Fred (who’s on a yellow) down the right flank. The PSG midfielder has a go from distance and it’s blocked, only to pinball unnervingly around the box before a Brazil defender can clear it.


26 min: Argentina’s keeper Emiliano Martinez is forced to make his first save of the night on a shot from Casemiro, but hardly a dangerous one.


22 min: And Argentina are ahead! A long direct pass from Rodrigo De Paul is badly misplayed by Renan Lodi and lands on the foot of 33-year-old Angel Di Maria, who lifts it up over a helpless Ederson and into the back of the goal. What a start for the Albiceleste!


20 min: Brazil have generated a couple of half-chances in the past three minutes, both times bypassing the midfield in search of a quick strike. Then Neymar is brought down right outside the area for what appears to be a free kick for Brazil from about 22 yards, but Argentina are bailed out by an offside call.


16 min: Neymar is cut down by Paredes while in attack. A tactical foul but yet another sign of the rugged physicality on display up and down the pitch. We’re told only 8,000 spectators were allowed in but it sounds like a whole lot more.










By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka


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