Argentina defeats Brazil in the South American showdown with an early goal, gifting their captain, lionel Messi, his first international trophy in his magnificent carrier. The win ends the Albiceleste’s 28-year title drought.
Argentina won the Copa America in Brazil’s infamous Maracana stadium with the goal from Angel Di Maria in the 22nd minute.
Missing a golden oppurnutiy at the 88th minute, Messi broke into tears of joy after the final whistle, as his teammates rushed to lift him. Messi is awarded the best player of the tournament and finished as the top goal scorer.
Neymar, shattered by the defeat, consoled his teammates. The defending champions struggled to produce oppurtinites while Martinez kept the Albiceleste safe. Selecao rarely tested the Aston Villa goal keeper in both halves.
Angel for Argentina
In a less eventful first half, Angel Di Maria scored an early, effortless goal from a brilliant assist by Rodrigo De Paul. Di Maria chipped the long ball from Paul over the goalkeeper who was out of the goal line. Brazilian defence chasing the Albiceleste clueless, shocked.
Maria becomes the first Argentinian to score in Copa America final after César Delgado in 2004.
Neither Messi or Neymar had any influence in the game. Neymar was repeatedly challenged by Argentinan players, prompting scuffles on the ground. The Brazilian superstar never became a threat to Martinez, the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
Brazil coach Tite tried to get offensive by replacing defensive midfielder Fred for Roberto Firmino, and managed to show a better performance in the last half of the game. Selecao had more ball posession but no set pieces to break the Argentinian defence.
Marking the best man of Brazil, De Paul stole the show keeping the yellow shirts in check.
Messi, the drought is over
Messi, one of the best player in the history of the game, won his first international trophy after many drama including a tragic exit in Copa America against Chile in 2016. The 34-year-old had been haunted throughout his career for not contributing to the rich history of the blue shirt.
Leo is currently a free agent, having played all his professional career for FC Barcelona. Many fear this is one of the turning point in the superstar’s career. He has won record breaking six Ballon D’or and considered the best in the world.