Brazil 0-1 Argentina: Nicolas Otamendi gives the world champions narrow victory over their arch-rivals after kick-off is delayed by 29 MINUTES by crowd trouble


Many fans came to the Maracana Stadium on Tuesday to watch Lionel Messi in his probably last match in Brazil, a superclasico in World Cup qualifying against the home team. Instead, they saw Nicolás Otamendi score the only goal in a 1–0 win for Argentina after a brawl between fans delayed the start of the match.

The World Cup champions inflicted Brazil’s first ever home defeat during World Cup qualifying. It was Brazil’s third consecutive defeat in the round-robin tournament – another negative mark for new coach Fernando Diniz.

Messi left the field in the 78th minute to a mixture of cheers and applause from the Brazilian fans. Dozens of children arrived at the Maracana wearing the shirts of Barcelona, ​​​​the star’s previous club, and Inter Miami.

However, the Argentine star failed to break one of his final barriers in the sport at the Maracana by scoring against the Brazilians in a World Cup qualifier.

Not only do Argentina return home at the top of the South American qualifying standings, but they have also given their fans another chance to celebrate a victory at the historic stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Two years ago, Ángel di Maria scored the only goal in an empty Maracana that gave his team the Copa America title.

Nicolas Otamendi secured victory for the visitors on a dramatic evening in Rio de Janeiro

The first 45 minutes were closely contested with a number of fouls from both sides

Fighting broke out in the crowd before kick-off, delaying the start of the match by 29 minutes

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The pre-match violent incident, which started shortly after the national anthems, forced the start to be halted for 27 minutes.


Brazil (4-2-3-1): Alisson; Emerson, Marquinhos (Nino 45′), Gabriel (Joelinton 72′), Agosto; André, Guimaraes (Luiz 78′); Raphinha (Endrick 72′), Rodrygo, Martinelli (Veiga 78′); Jesus

Subs: Lodi, Perri, Bremer, Pepe, Paulinho, Joao Pedro, Bento

Booked: Jesus, Raphinha, Augusto

Broadcast: Joelinton 83′

Manager: Fernando Diniz

Argentina (4-3-3): Martinez; Molina, Otamendi, Romero, Acuna (Tagliafico 65′); De Paul, Mac Allister, Fernandez (Gonzalez 70′); Lo Celso (Paredes 70′), Messi (Di Maria 78′), Alvarez (Martinez 78′)

Subs: Armani, Musso, Montiel, Pezzella, Palacios, Rodriguez, Ocampos

Goal: Otamendi 63′

Administrator: Lionel Scaloni

Argentina went to the changing rooms under the leadership of Messi for 22 minutes. At least one fan left the stadium bleeding from his head. Rio police said they had arrested eight people over the brawl.

The aggression between fans was reflected on the field in the first twenty minutes of the encounter; the referee made mistakes against Brazil during that time. The tension decreased and allowed Argentina to avoid a direct confrontation.

Brazil squandered chances, with Raphinha’s free-kick in the 38th minute and Cristian Romero saving Argentina close to the goal line six minutes later after Gabriel Martinelli’s crossed shot.

Brazil suggested they would keep up the pressure after the break. Rodrygo forced goalkeeper Dibu Martinez into a close-range save in the 54th.

But the Argentine goal in the 63rd with a header from Otamendi, who jumped above the Brazilian defenders to meet a corner, was one of the few chances the team created.

Teenager Endrick, one of Brazil’s big hopes up front, didn’t make much of a difference after going through in the 72nd.

In the 81st, midfielder Joelinton, who had just come on as a substitute for Brazil, was sent off after pushing Rodrigo de Paul. Brazilian fans ended the match chanting “ole” for every touch from the Argentinians, while the visiting supporters waved their shirts as some of their players celebrated on the pitch.

Argentina leads the 10-team South American qualifying competition with 15 points from six games, followed by Uruguay on 13 and Colombia. Brazil could end the year in sixth place, with seven points.

The 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada will feature 48 teams, meaning the top six teams from South America will compete directly. The seventh-place team can earn a spot in an intercontinental play-off.

Colombia also won 1-0 against Paraguay on Tuesday; Uruguay defeated Bolivia 3-0 in Montevideo; and Ecuador defeated Chile 1-0.

Peru and Venezuela were still playing when the match between Brazil and Argentina ended.

The seventh and eighth rounds of the South American qualifying will take place in September after the next edition of the Copa America in the United States.