Copa America Final Highlights Argentina 1 vs Brazil 0: Di Maria's goal wins Argentina its first Copa title since 1993; Messi wins first title with the Albiceleste

Copa America Argentina vs Brazil HIGHLIGHTS: Follow Sportstar's live coverage of Copa America semifinal between Argentina and Colombia played at the Estádio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Angel Di Maria celebrates after scoring the first goal of the match.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Welcome to Sportstar's coverage of the Copa America final between Argentina and Brazil being played at the  Estádio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

After 28 years of wait, Argentina finally has a trophy as it beat Brazil in the final of Copa America 2021 at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is Argentina's first title since 1993 and 15th Copa America title.

Angel Di Maria's 22nd minute strike proved enough as the Albiceleste showed great composure and determination in defence to keep the Selecao out, a feat none of the teams have achieved in this edition of the tournament.

REPORT| Copa America Final: Messi's Argentina beats Brazil 1-0 win Copa America 2021

Lionel Messi, who has won all with Barcelona was only missing a trophy with his national team. With today's win, that drought has come to an end.

It was a valiant effort by Brazil as it proved to be the better team in attack, but it couldn't break down the resolute Argentine defence.

FULL TIME!!!!! ARGENTINA WIN THE COPA AMERICA FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1993. IT IS THE ALBICELESTE'S 15TH COPA AMERICA TITLE!!! MESSI WINS HIS FIRST SENIOR TITLE WITH HIS NATIONAL TEAM!!!

90+4' Time almost up at the Maracana. It is now or never for the Brazilians.

90+3' SHOT- De Paul with the shot but Ederson denies him to keep Brazil in the match.

90+2' Momentary reprieve for Argentina as play is stopped as Firmino handled the ball with his hand.

FIVE ADDED MINUTES!!!

89' Nervy moments as Brazil is coming at Argentina with a flurry of attacks. You'd expect nothing less from this derby.

89' ARGENTINA BOOKING- Gonzalo becomes the latest player to see the yellow card.

88' CHANCE- How has Messi missed there? All he had to do was shoot but the ball got stuck under his feet as Messi tried to to a tad bit much.

87' SHOT- Gabriel Barbosa with a brilliant volley at Emi Martinez. The goalkeeper equal to it.

85' Great recovering challenge by Nicholas Otamendi to prevent Danilo's cross from getting inside the box.

82' SHOT- Barbosa finds a bit of space and shoots at goal but it is only the side-netting.

82' BRAZIL BOOKING- Marquinhos gets booked in the ensuing tussle.

81' ARGENTINA BOOKING- Otamendi sees yellow after a cruching challenge on Neymar. No debate about that.

79' TRIPLE ARGENTINA CHANGE- Exequiel Palacios, Nicolas Gonzalez and German Pezzella replace Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez and Cristian Romero.

78' Penalty shout by Brazil as Barbosa is brought down by Guido Rodriguez. Nothing given. Replay shows Guido got the ball.

76' BRAZIL SUB- Emerson and Gabriel Barbosa replaces Lucas Paqueta and Renan Lodi.

74' A nice passage of Argentine attack on the counter with Di Maria at the heart of it. We haven't seen much of Argentina attack in the second half.

72' BRAZIL BOOKING- Lucas Paqueta becomes the latest player to get booked.

71' SHOT- Paqueta takes a shot at Emi Martinez's near post but he was closely marked by Tagliafico. The shot is wide.

70' BRAZIL BOOKING- Renan Lodi booked for his challenge on De Paul.

68' ARGENTINA BOOKING- Rodrigo De Paul booked for his challenge on a speeding Neymar.

67' SHOT- Messi wriggles away from the Brazil defence to set up Guido Rodriguez for a shot but the midfielder skies the ball.

64' Quick feet by Messi as he takes a tumble inside the box. Argentina wants a penalty but referee says nothing doing.

63' CHANGES- For Argentina, Lo Celso replaced by Nicholas Tagliafico. For Brazil, Vinicius Jr. replaces Everton Soares.

60' The Argentina backline doesn't look as solid as the first half. The Selecao midfield finding spaces behind the Albiceleste backline.

57' The inclusion of Roberto Firmino has changed thing up top for the Selecao as the extra body in attack seems to be paying off.

55' SHOT- Richarlison again with a blasting shot at Emi Martinez but the keeper saves. Argentina clear the rebound. Waves of Brazilian attack making life difficult for Argentina.

54' ARGENTINA SUB: Guido Rodriguez replaces Leandro Paredes.

52' RICHARLISON PUT THE BALL INSIDE THE NET BUT ITS OFFSIDE!!! BIG LET OFF FOR ARGENTINA. It was Cristian Romero's error which sent Richarlison away in the first place. The Argentine defender will breathe a sigh of relief.

51' ARGENTINA BOOKING- Lo Celso sees a yellow from the referee.

50' The midfield is where the battle is happening right now. Both teams plying their skills to achieve supremacy in the middle of the park. De Paul has been a solid figure for Argentina in midfield.

STAT: Argentina had just one shot on target and three shots in the first half against Brazil, the fewest it has had in the first half of a Copa America game since the 2-0 defeat against Brazil in the semi-final in 2019 (0 on target, 6 total)

46' BRAZIL SUB- Roberto Firmino on at the start of the second-half. He replaces Fred.

SECOND-HALF UNDERWAY!!!

Argentina, against the run of play is leading against the home team at half-time courtesy Di Maria's picture-perfect lobbed goal in the 22nd minute.

Brazil has had the lion's share of attacking threat but Scaloni's men have done a good job of restricting the Selecao up to this point. The Albiceleste, when they have gone forward, have posed a few questions of their own to the Brazil defence as well.

The match is wonderfully poised for the second-half. Don't go anywhere and stay tuned for the second-half.

HALF-TIME!! (ARGENTINA 1 BRAZIL 0)

ONE ADDED MINUTE!!

44' A dangerous corner by Neymar as it goes out of wall through a sea of bodies after the initial header by Thiago Silva.

42' Half time minutes away and Argentina has done well to restrict Brazil from scoring. Crucial few minutes before the break.

39' Di Maria back on the pitch for now- it is to be seen whether it is temporary or permanent.

37' Di Maria seems to have pulled up with an injury as he clutches his ankle. This is a worrying sight because there was no challenge on him.

34' Neymar's freekick hits the wall as Argentina clears.

33'ARGENTINA BOOKING- Paredes gets a yellow for his challenge on Neymar. Freekick in a dangerous position with Neymar standing over it.

32' SHOT- Messi with a wonderful run, which concludes with a shot. It flashes wide of Ederson's goal.

29' SHOT- Di Maria shoots at Ederson, which takes a deflection off Marquinhos and falls kindly for the Brazil keeper. Lautaro was lurking for a rebound there.

28' Argentina constantly being pressed by Brazil as the urgency to get the equaliser is visible.

25' Argentina has done the tough bit- score a goal against the run of play. But, since its 1993 Copa America win, Argentina has an appalling record in finals. It has lost seven of them.

22' GOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!! ARGENTINA TAKES THE LEAD!! DI MARIA SCORESSS!! It was a beautiful finish from the Argentine as he found himself at the end of a beautiful ball from De Paul. The defence splitting pass allowed Di Maria to run clear of the Selecao defence and lob the ball over Ederson.

20' SHOT- Richarlison with a shot at Emi Martinez but it takes a deflection, which takes away all the sting from it.

18' A patient buildup by Argentina as it make Brazil chase the ball. It is halted by Fred as he takes the ball away from Di Maria.

16' A prolonged stretch of Argentina pressure around Brazil's penalty-area, which ends with a challenge on Neymar. Currently both number 10s- Neymar and Messi lying on the pitch as play is halted.

14' Challenges flying in all around the pitch as Montiel becomes the latest victim of a Casemiro challenge.

12' FOUL- Crunching tackle by Lodi on Cristian Romero, who has made a return in Argentina's backline for the final. No signs of his knee injury flaring up as of now.

8' Lot of fouls being conceded in the early minutes of the first half. We have also seen some showboating by Neymar in these early minutes, which drew cheers from the limited crowd inside the Maracana.

5' The match seems to be settling as Brazil is keeping possession to dictate the tempo of the match. Argentina allowing the Selecao to have the ball in its their half.

3' BRAZIL BOOKING- Fred gets a very early booking for his challenge on Montiel. It was a reckless challenge.

2' Brazil with an early attacking surge, looking to peg Argentina in its own half right from the start.

1' KICK OFF!!

05:30 AM- AND WE ARE UNDERWAY!!! THE BATTLE FOR THE SOUTH AMERICAN CROWN BEGINS!! WILL ARGENTINA CLINCH ITS 15TH TITLE OR WILL BRAZIL RETAIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP?

STAT ATTACK

  • Argentina hasn't lost a match for over two years, with its last loss coming against Brazil in the COPA America 2019 Semi-finals.
  • Brazil hasn’t lost a match since November 2019. Its last loss was also against Argentina in a friendly, wherein Messi scored in the 13th minute.
  • Brazil has won EVERY Copa America they have hosted (5/5)
  • Brazil hasn't lost a match on home soil in Copa America for 46 years
  • Argentina hasn't won a trophy for 28 years
  • Argentina has lost its last 5 major finals (2 to Brazil)
  • The last time Argentina scored a goal in a final was at the 2005 Confederations Cup in a 4-1 loss vs. Brazil. It was Pablo Aimar (currently with the coaching staff who scored). Since then, Argentina played in 4 finals, 450 minutes (90 min and three 120 min), zero goals scored.

Who is Emi Martinez, Argentina's shootout hero against Colombia? Click here to read about the player

THE MARACANA IS READY!!

 

LINEUPS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED!!!

Argentina XI (4-3-3):  E. Martínez; Montiel, Romero, Otamendi, Acuña; De Paul, Paredes, Lo Celso; Messi (C), Lautaro, Di María

Subs: Armani (GK), Marchesín (GK), Pezzella, Li. Martínez, Molina, Tagliafico, Palacios, Rodríguez, Gómez, González, A. Correa, Agüero

Coach: Lionel Scaloni

Brazil XI (4-2-3-1):  Ederson; Danilo, Marquinhos, T. Silva (C), Lodi; Casemiro, Fred; Éverton, Paquetá, Richarlison; Neymar

Subs: Alisson (GK), Weverton (GK), Militão, Ortiz, Emerson, A. Sandro, Fabinho, Douglas, Ribeiro, Vinicius, Firmino, Gabigol

Coach: Tite

Referee: Esteban Ostojich (URU)

Match Preview

Brazil-Argentina games always throw up questions but one stands out ahead of this Saturday’s Copa America final in Rio de Janeiro: Can Lionel Messi finally win an international title?

The Barcelona player has won every honour possible at club and individual level and is widely considered to be the best of the 21st century and a strong candidate, along with Pele and Diego Maradona, as the greatest of all time.

All you need to know: Copa America final Argentina vs Brazil: Live streaming, match details

But he has never lifted any silverware with Argentina and the question for the 34-year-old is: If not now, when?

“Messi has two chances left,” said Tostao, a World Cup winner with Brazil in 1970. “He has the Copa and the World Cup (in 2022) but the World Cup is difficult.”

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There is no clear favourite for Saturday's game at the Maracana stadium, although Brazil has a slightly better record over the last four weeks and it holds home advantage.

Messi, though, is in scintillating form and leads the tournament in goals and assists. Of Argentina’s 11 goals, Messi has scored four and provided five assists.

“We are seeing an improved version of Messi,” Antonio Mohamed, former Argentina player and now coach of Monterrey, wrote in Ole, an Argentine sports newspaper.

READ: Copa America 2021: Argentina not out for revenge in final, says Scaloni

“Every time he touched the ball, three guys would be on top of him in the style of Maradona at his greatest.”

Messi's dream

Messi has spoken at length about the dream of winning a title with Argentina and his compatriots know how much an international trophy means to him.

In the past, his teammates were blamed for letting him down, by missing chances in finals or failing to match his superhuman levels of brilliance or focus.

Now, however, he has Argentina's best team in years around him and there are fewer excuses.

WATCH: Messi vs Neymar- Two of the brightest South American stars

It is not the Argentina of 1978 or 1986 but under coach Lionel Scaloni the side is unbeaten in 19 games dating back to the last Copa America in 2019.

The older heads, like Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria, are aware that winning the World Cup is an unlikely scenario and Saturday's final could be their last hurrah.

The experienced players and the youngsters who have grown up idolising the man who would become their teammate, know they are playing not just for Argentina but also for Messi and the chance to reward him with the title his performances deserve.

“We are all excited that Argentina can get the title, and that above all it is given to Leo,” said Mohamed.

(--Via Reuters--)

Argentina and Brazil: Squads in full

Argentina

Goalkeepers: Franco Armani, Emiliano Martinez, Juan Musso and Agustin Marchesin

Defenders: Gonzalo Montiel, Nicolas Otamendi, German Pezzella, Nicolas Tagliafico, Lucas Martinez Quarta, Marcos Acuna, Lisandro Martinez, Nahuel Molina Lucero and Cristian Romero

Midfielders: Leandro Paredes, Giovani Lo Celso, Exequiel Palacios, Nicolas Gonzalez, Guido Rodriguez, Rodrigo De Paul, Alejandro Gomez, Angel Correa and Nicolas Dominguez

Forwards: Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria, Joaquin Correa, Sergio Aguero and Julian Alvarez

Brazil

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson, Weverton.

Defenders: Emerson, Danilo, Alex Sandro, Renan Lodi, Felipe, Éder Militão, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva.

Midfielders: Casemiro, Douglas Luiz, Everton Ribeiro, Fabinho, Fred, Lucas Paquetã.

Forwards: Everton, Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Barbosa, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar, Richarlison, Vinicius Junior

WHERE TO WATCH COPA AMERICA 2021 LIVE IN INDIA?

You can watch Copa America 2021 LIVE in India on Sony Ten and Sony Six channels. You can also live streaming the Copa America 2021 in India on SonyLiv and JioTV.