Argentina’s Lionel Messi defeated Brazil 1-0 in Sunday’s Copa America final. This was the first title for Argentina in 28 years and the first major international trophy.
Some of his cheering teammates threw a tearful Messi into the air after the match was over.
After Rodrigo de Paul’s long pass to Angel di Maria, Argentina scored the winning goal at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium. It happened in the 22nd minute. Renan Lodi’s sloppy defense allowed the 33-year old veteran striker to take control of the game and score past Ederson.
It was the third goal Brazilconded in the tournament. Neymar tried hard with passes and dribbles, but the Selecao only barely threatened Argentinagoalkeeper Emiliano Martnez. Coach Tite’s team had won five of its previous matches in Copa America and scored goals in each of them.
The final performance of Messi was less impressive than in previous matches. He scored four goals and assisted five times during those matches. In the 88th minute, he had a clear chance and tried to dribble Ederson, but the Brazilian goalkeeper stopped it.
However, the title provides some relief for the superstar after all the questions about his performance playing for the national team.
PSG and Brazilian star Neymar have to wait until he receives his first major international trophy. In the 2019 Copa America, he was injured, and Brazil won.
Messi, 34 years old, has won 10 La Liga titles and 4 UEFA Champions League medals. He also holds 6 Ballon d’Or awards.
Road to the final
Brazil began the group stage with wins of 3-0 and 4-1 against Peru and Venezuela. They won the third game against Colombia and also drew the match against Ecuador. They beat Chile in the quarter-final and defeated Peru 1-0 at the semi-final.
Argentina won its match against Chile 1-0, while Uruguay won its second match 1-0. They beat Paraguay in their third group stage match 1-0. In the final group game, they defeated Bolivia 4-1. They beat Ecuador comfortably 3-0 in the quarter-finals. They secured their place in the final with a penalty-shootout victory over Colombia in the semi-final.
Brazil vs. Argentina Head-to-Head (updated following Copa America 2021 final).
Argentina won 16 of the 34 matches in Copa America. Brazil won 10 matches.