Messi's Argentina beats Brazil 1-0 to win Copa America 2021

Lionel Messi claimed his first title with Argentina as the Albiceleste rode on Angel Di Maria's goal to beat Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final.

Lionel Messi

Argentina's 28-year wait for an international title came to an end on Sunday as the side beat Brazil to win the Copa America 2021.   -  REUTERS

Argentina won its first major title in 28 years on Sunday when an Angel Di Maria goal gave the side a 1-0 win over Brazil and a record-equalling 15th Copa America trophy.

Di Maria started for just the second time in the Copa and he justified his selection by scoring the opener midway through the first half. Renan Lodi failed to cut out a long ball forward from Rodrigo De Paul and Di Maria lobbed the stranded Ederson with aplomb.

HIGHLIGHTS| Copa America Final - Argentina vs Brazil

Brazil piled on the pressure in an exciting second half but even with five strikers on the field the side could not get an equaliser against an Argentine defence protected by the outstanding Rodrigo De Paul.

Argentina’s win was a particular triumph for Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, who picked up his first ever title in a blue and white shirt after more than a decade of club and individual honours.

Messi finished the tournament’s joint top goalscorer with four goals and was elected joint best player along with Neymar. But he was quiet throughout and uncharacteristically missed a golden opportunity to wrap the game up with two minutes remaining.

Argentina's Angel Di Maria celebrates scoring in Sunday's Copa America final against Brazil.   -  REUTERS

When the final whistle went, Argentina TV declared “Argentina Champions, Lionel Messi Champion!”

The victory was Argentina’s 15th Copa America triumph and means it now draws level with Uruguay as the all-time leading winners.

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Argentina's win extended its unbeaten streak to 20 matches under Lionel Scaloni and handed Brazil its first competitive defeat since it lost to Belgium in the quarterfinal of the 2018 World Cup.

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