Brazil 2 Argentina 0: Jesus helps host into first Copa America final since 2007

Goals from Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino saw Brazil past Argentina and into the Copa America final, where it will face either Peru or defending champion Chile.

Published : Jul 03, 2019 08:22 IST

Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino scored and assisted each other to help Brazil into the Copa America final.
Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino scored and assisted each other to help Brazil into the Copa America final.

Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino scored and assisted each other to help Brazil into the Copa America final.

Brazil moved into its first Copa America final since 2007 with a 2-0 win over Argentina in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday. Gabriel Jesus starred for Tite's men, scoring the opener before setting up Roberto Firmino in the semifinal at the Estadio Mineirao.

Led by Lionel Messi, Argentina had its chances, hitting the woodwork twice through the star forward and Sergio Aguero.

But its chances were dashed by Firmino's 71st-minute goal as eight-time champion Brazil reached the decider.

Brazil 2-0 Argentina | As it happened

In what was a frantic start, Leandro Paredes went close for Argentina, his powerful effort from range going just over.

Jesus had looked bright early and he opened the scoring for Brazil in the 19th minute. Dani Alves did brilliantly to release Firmino down the right side of the area, the forward crossing for Jesus to convert from close range.

As Brazil appeared content to sit back after its opener, Argentina went close to an equaliser on the half-hour mark.

Messi's well-weighted set-piece from a central area was met by Aguero, whose header bounced back off the crossbar.

Philippe Coutinho had a great chance to double Brazil's lead in the 56th minute, the attacker blazing over after being set up following a wonderful turn by Jesus.

And, just a minute later, Argentina hit the woodwork again, Messi's volley from the left side of the area bouncing off the post after a blocked Lautaro Martinez shot fell to the star.

Argentina continued to dominate as it looked for an equaliser as Messi's 20-yard free-kick was comfortably saved by Alisson in the 66th minute.

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Against the run of play, Brazil struck on the counter-attack to double its lead thanks to some excellent work from Jesus. He led a break with a brilliant run from inside his own half before composing himself to square for Firmino to tap in and make it 2-0.

That was the decisive blow as Brazil as held firm to progress to the final.

What does it mean? Belo Horizonte ghosts brushed aside

At the scene of its 7-1 mauling at the hands of Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinals, Brazil found a way – and got some luck. Argentina hit the woodwork twice, but Brazil did enough to reach its first Copa America final since 2007.

Brazil continues Argentina dominance thanks to Jesus

Brazil has never lost a competitive game at home to Argentina and that record was maintained, thanks largely to Jesus. The Manchester City forward was exceptional throughout, scoring once and assisting the other while causing constant problems.

Messi's wait goes on

Now 32, Messi's wait for a first senior title with Argentina continues. The star struggled to find top form at the Copa America, although he looked threatening against Brazil.

What's next?

Brazil will face either Chile or Peru in the final on Sunday, while Argentina meets the loser of that clash in the third-place play-off a day earlier.

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