RIO DE JANEIRO, July 10 (Reuters) – Argentina gained their first main title in 28 years on Saturday and Lionel Messi lastly gained his first medal in a blue-and-white shirt when an Angel Di Maria objective gave them a 1-0 win over Brazil and a record-equalling fifteenth Copa America.
Di Maria, beginning for simply the second time within the Copa, justified his choice by scoring the opener halfway via the primary half.
Renan Lodi failed to chop out an extended ball ahead from Rodrigo De Paul and Di Maria lobbed the stranded Ederson with aplomb.
Brazil piled on the stress in an thrilling second half however even with 5 strikers on the sector they might not get an equaliser in opposition to an Argentine defence protected by the excellent Rodrigo De Paul.
“First we’ve got to congratulate our opponents particularly for the primary half once they neutralised us,” stated Brazilian defender Thiago Silva.
“Within the second half there was no contest – just one workforce tried to play soccer, the opposite simply wasted time as we knew they might. It’s not an excuse, we didn’t do what we needed to, principally within the first half.”
Argentina’s win was a specific triumph for Barcelona striker Messi, who picked up his first ever title in a blue-and-white shirt after greater than a decade of membership and particular person honours.
The Argentine gamers surrounded their captain on the closing whistle. Goalkeeper Emilian Martinez celebrated what he known as a Maracanazo, a exceptional win on the well-known Rio stadium.
“I am speechless,” he stated. “I knew my dream would come true, and the place higher than the Maracanazo and giving the title to the most effective on this planet and fulfilling his dream.”
Messi completed the event’s joint prime goalscorer with 4 targets and was elected joint greatest participant together with Neymar.
However he was quiet all through the sport on the Maracana stadium and uncharacteristically missed a golden alternative to wrap the sport up with two minutes remaining.
When the ultimate whistle went, Argentina TV declared “Argentina Champions, Lionel Messi Champion!”
The match itself was a disappointing one, with Argentina the higher facet in a cagey first half that featured 21 fouls.
Nevertheless, Brazil got here out extra aggressively within the second interval and because the time ticked on they threw extra folks ahead – and at one level having 5 recognised strikers on the sector.
Richarlison had a objective chalked off for offside seven minutes into the second half after which compelled Emiliano Martinez into a superb cease two minutes later.
However as Brazil poured ahead gaps, opened up and Argentina missed two clear probabilities to attain within the dying moments of the match.
The victory was Argentina’s fifteenth Copa America triumph and means they draw stage with Uruguay because the all-time main winners.
“This can be a very huge title,” stated Argentine coach Lionel Scaloni. “I hope that Argentines can take pleasure in it. The followers love the workforce unconditionally and I believe they establish with this facet that by no means drops its guard.”
Their win prolonged their sequence of undefeated matches to twenty underneath Scaloni and handed Brazil their first aggressive defeat since they misplaced to Belgium within the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup.
Reporting by Andrew Downie; Enhancing by William Mallard
Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.