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FIFA World Cup qualifying Brazil is defeated 1-0 by Argentina

FIFA World Cup

By SamarPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
At the end of Argentina vs. Brazil's 2026 FIFA World Cup South American qualification football match at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on November 21, 2023, defender Nicolas Otamendi of Argentina celebrates.

In a tense 2026 World Cup qualifying match that saw pre-match crowd unrest that delayed kickoff, Argentina defeated Brazil 1-0 on Tuesday.

Argentina's victory was sealed by a header in the 63rd minute by veteran defender Nicolas Otamendi. The world champions defeated their fierce South American rivals after losing to Uruguay the previous week.

Argentina leads the South American qualifying standings after winning at Rio's storied Maracana Stadium, having collected 15 points from six games.

Meanwhile, Brazil's third loss in the qualifying round drops the five-time world champions to sixth place after six games played with seven points.

Moments before kickoff, there had been a fracas in the Maracana stands, with Brazilian police being seen at one end of the stadium using batons to drive back a group of Argentine fans.

A number of Argentina players approached the disturbances in what appeared to be an attempt to calm things down. At one point, goalkeeper Emi Martinez attempted to leap into the seating area to confront a Brazilian police officer brandishing a baton.

As the altercations persisted, Lionel Messi and the Argentina team went back to their dressing room, with Messi seemingly stating, "We're not playing, we're leaving."

After a delay of about half an hour from the originally scheduled start time, the 2022 World Cup winners returned to the field just before 10 p.m. local time.

When play eventually resumed, the fervent pre-match atmosphere carried over onto the field, with Gabriel Jesus, an Arsenal striker from Brazil, receiving a yellow card just five minutes after colliding with Rodrigo De Paul of Argentina.

Tense environment

Throughout a dismal first half marked by numerous niggly fouls, neither team created many chances to score goals, maintaining the tense atmosphere of the match.

Raphinha, a winger for Brazil, was booked in the 14th minute for throwing an arm in De Paul's face. Five minutes later, he caught Alexis MacAllister with a wild studs-up challenge, and was fortunate to escape a second yellow card.

Up until Raphinha's free kick that deflected wide for a corner in the 38th minute, Brazil was unable to register a single shot, either on target or off.

After 44 minutes, Brazil's Gabriel Martinelli scored the game's lone goal from either side when Argentina's Martinez miscuted a clearance and sent it back toward the goal.

Argentine fans sighed with relief as defender Cristian Romero stopped Martinelli's attempt on goal at the goal line.

Brazil got off to a more promising start in the second half when, after 54 minutes, Martinez blocked a shot by Raphinha at the near post.

After a strong run by Gabriel, Martinez again saved Argentina, deflecting Martinelli's goal-bound shot.

However, Brazil was completely stunned when Argentina took the lead on the 63rd minute with their first-ever attempt on goal.

Giovani Lo Celso cut in a welcoming corner from the left, and Otamendi, 35, leaped over midfielder Andre of Brazil to head home for a 1-0 victory.

After just 12 minutes on the field, Joelinton, a substitute, was sent off for an off-the-ball altercation with De Paul in the 82nd minute, adding insult to injury for Brazil.

Emiliano Martinez, the goalkeeper for Argentina, celebrates after Brazil and Argentina's football match at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, the South American qualifying tournament for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

At the end of Argentina vs. Brazil's 2026 FIFA World Cup South American qualification football match at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, forward Lionel Messi (C) of Argentina celebrates with teammates.

At Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium, after Argentina and Brazil's football match in the South American qualifying round for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the players from Argentina celebrate.


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