Brazil beats Argentina and advances to Copa America final

Brazil 2 Argentina 0

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — Brazil beat Argentina 2-0 on Tuesday and will play Sunday’s Copa America final at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro seeking its 10th South American title.

Superstar Lionel Messi, meanwhile, remains without trophies for his national team.

Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring at 19 minutes in the Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte after a samba-style play from right-back Dani Alves. It was the striker’s first goal in the tournament.

Roberto Firmino added the second at 71 minutes assisted by Jesus in front of 56,000 fans.

Brazil’s opponent will be determined on Wednesday when defending champions Chile take on underdogs Peru at the Arena do Gremio in Porto Alegre.

Despite Argentina’s defeat, Messi delivered his best performance in the tournament.

Injured striker Neymar celebrated Brazil’s victory with friends and with President Jair Bolsonaro in the stadium’s corporate boxes.

For the first time since Copa America began, Argentina repeated its starting lineup of the previous 2-0 win over Venezuela, keeping its up-front trio with Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Lautaro Martinez. But the approach against Brazil was clearly different, with the team sitting back and preparing for counters.

Brazil had two changes to face its archrivals, with midfielder Casemiro returning from suspension in Allan’s place and Alex Sandro substituting injured Filipe Luis in the left-back.

Still, Argentina still was first to get an opportunity to open the scoring. At 12 minutes, Leandro Paredes fired from long distance and the ball flew close to Alisson’s bar.

On the first goal, Alves flicked the ball over Marcos Acuna, left Paredes behind and passed to Firmino on the right flank. With a low cross, he allowed Jesus to score only meters away from goalkeeper Franco Armani.

The visitors nearly levelled at 30 minutes, when the superstar took a free kick and Aguero headed the ball onto the bar. Brazil’s defence cleared and avoided conceding its first goal in five Copa America matches.

After the break Brazil took extra precautions by substituting winger Everton for midfielder Willian. But that did not stop Messi and Argentina.

At 57 minutes, Messi hit Alisson’s right post from close range. He also got the rebound, crossed the ball into the penalty box, but no Argentinian was near enough to push it to the net.

To keep the pressure on the Brazilians, coach Lionel Scaloni substituted midfielder Acuna for winger Angel di Maria. But a counter at 71 minutes punished his audacity.

Jesus stole the ball in his half of the field and bulldozed through Argentina’s left flank. Facing Armani, he gently assisted Firmino to score the final goal.

The match at the Mineirão was once again marked by homophobic chants of the Brazilian fans when Armani took his goal kicks.

The same supporters also enjoyed themselves to the tune of “ole” when Brazilians made time passing the ball in the end of the superclasico.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trudeau to meet potential bridge-builder Pallister during cabinet retreat

WINNIPEG — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet today with the least… Continue reading

Two-vehicle collsion near Penhold

Sunday collision blocked intersection

Rising inequality eroding trust in capitalism – survey

DAVOS, Switzerland — Rising income inequality is undermining confidence in capitalism around… Continue reading

Google CEO calls for regulation of artificial intelligence

LONDON — Google’s chief executive called Monday for a balanced approach to… Continue reading

Extradition hearing for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou begins today in Vancouver

VANCOUVER — A court hearing begins today in Vancouver over the American… Continue reading

WATCH: Canadian kid shovelling snow video goes viral

Rory might just be Canada’s most popular toddler right now, thanks to… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

Former 1,500 specialist Elmore likely Tokyo-bound after breaking marathon mark

When Malindi Elmore reinvented herself as a marathon runner a year ago,… Continue reading

Canada’s Shapovalov upset by Fucsovics in first round of Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada’s Denis Shapovalov lost a lengthy four-set match with… Continue reading

Prince Harry: ‘Powerful media’ is why he’s stepping away

LONDON — Prince Harry took aim at the journalists who have dissected… Continue reading

‘Parasite’ parties, Leo greets young fans inside SAG Awards

LOS ANGELES — Off-camera and during commercials, the stars at the Screen… Continue reading

Hikers rescued after frigid night on Eagle Mountain in Coquitlam, B.C.

COQUITLAM, B.C. — Five hikers stranded on Eagle Mountain in Coquitlam, B.C.,… Continue reading

SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX completed the last big test of its… Continue reading

Canada’s Jeff Smith wins way back to PDC pro darts tour via qualifying school

WIGAN, England — Canadian Jeff Smith has won his way back to… Continue reading

Most Read