Many followers got here to the Maracana Stadium on Tuesday to observe Lionel Messi in his probably final match in Brazil, a superclasico in World Cup qualifying towards the hosts. As a substitute, they noticed Nicols Otamendi rating the one purpose in a 1-0 win for Argentina after a brawl between followers that delayed the beginning of the sport.
The World Cup champions inflicted the first dwelling defeat on Brazil ever in World Cup qualifying. It was Brazil’s third consecutive loss within the round-robin event – one other destructive mark for brand spanking new coach Fernando Diniz.
Messi left the pitch within the 78th minute amid a combination of jeers and applause from Brazil followers. Dozens of kids arrived on the Maracana carrying the shirts of Barcelona, the star’s earlier membership, and Inter Miami.
The Argentine star wasn’t capable of finish one in all his final boundaries within the sport on the Maracana, although, to attain towards the Brazilians in a World Cup qualifier.
Argentina will return dwelling not solely atop the South American qualifying standings but additionally having given its followers yet one more likelihood to rejoice a victory on the historic stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Two years in the past, ngel di Maria scored the one purpose in an empty Maracana to present his staff the Copa America title.
The violent pre-match incident, beginning shortly after the nationwide anthems, stalled the beginning for 27 minutes. Argentina, led by Messi, headed to the locker rooms for 22 minutes. At the very least one fan left the stadium bleeding from his head. Rio police stated they’d arrested eight folks as a result of brawl.
The aggression between followers was mirrored on the sphere within the first 20 minutes of the encounter; the referee gave fouls towards Brazil throughout that point. The stress eased and allowed Argentina to keep away from direct confrontation.
Brazil wasted alternatives, with Raphinha‘s free kick within the thirty eighth minute and Cristian Romero saving Argentina close to the purpose line six minutes later after a crossed shot by Gabriel Martinelli.
Brazil instructed they’d preserve the stress after the break. Rodrygo compelled goalkeeper Dibu Martinez to a close-range save within the 54th.
However Argentina’s purpose within the 63rd with a header by Otamendi, who jumped above the Brazilian defenders to fulfill a nook kick, was one of many few possibilities the staff created.
Teenager Endrick, one in all Brazil’s huge hopes up entrance, did not make a lot distinction after he went on within the 72nd.
Within the 81st, midfielder Joelinton, who had simply stepped in as an alternative choice to Brazil, was despatched off after pushing Rodrigo de Paul. Brazil followers ended the match chanting “ole” for each contact of the Argentinians, whereas the visiting supporters waved their shirts as a few of their gamers celebrated on the pitch.
Argentina leads the 10-team South American qualifying competitors with 15 factors from six matches, adopted by Uruguay on 13 and Colombia. Brazil may finish the 12 months in sixth place, with seven factors.
The 2026 World Cup within the United States, Mexico and Canada will embrace 48 groups, that means direct entry for the highest six groups from South America. The seventh-place staff can earn a berth in an intercontinental playoff.
Additionally on Tuesday, Colombia received 1-0 at Paraguay; Uruguay beat Bolivia 3-0 in Montevideo; and Ecuador topped Chile 1-0.
Peru and Venezuela had been nonetheless enjoying on the time the Brazil vs. Argentina match ended.
The seventh and eighth rounds of South American qualifying will happen in September after the subsequent version of Copa America in america.