For the first time since 1993, Argentina’s senior team won a title. And it was in style. In the Copa America final, in Maracanã, Messi and company defeated Brazil 1-0 and ended a fast that spanned generations. Di Maria’s goal enabled the Argentines to win their 15th trophy in the competition, equaling Uruguay as the biggest winner in history.
Let’s shout fuerte and united…
¡¡¡WE ARE CHAMPIONS!!! pic.twitter.com/i8aiWz8slt
— Argentina Selection (@Argentina) July 11, 2021
The crucial move of the match happened at 21 minutes of the first stage. De Paul made a long throw to the right. Renan Lodi apparently had the situation under control, but missed the time to cut the ball, which was clean for Di Maria. He entered the area and with one touch covered goalkeeper Ederson.
Uninspired, Brazil only found better football and better chances in the second stage. Richarlison, in a move from the right, scored, but the attacker’s impediment was identified at the beginning of the play.
On the final stretch, Gabriel Barbosa, one of coach Tite’s many replacements, caught a left-hand lift and kicked hard, but goalkeeper Martinez put it to corner.
Argentina also had a chance to kill the game, but star Lionel Messi, when receiving inside the area, facing the goal, got involved trying to dribble goalkeeper Ederson.
The wasted bid ended up not missing, since shortly afterwards Argentina confirmed the triumph and a historic title, much celebrated by the athletes on the field and by the Argentine fans who attended the Maracanã (the city of Rio allowed the presence of 10% of the public) .
The Argentine team once again celebrated a title with its professional team (it was Olympic champion in 2004 and 2008) after 28 years. The last achievement had been precisely in a Copa América, in 1993, when it defeated Mexico in the decision of the edition hosted by Ecuador.
For Messi, the victory at Maracanã represented the first trophy for the country, after defeats in the finals of the Copa Americas 2007, 2015 and 2016, and also in the decision of the 2014 World Cup, curiously disputed also in the Rio de Janeiro stadium.
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