Boom at the Maracanã! Argentina beats Brazil
Argentina’s world champions inflicted a stunning 1-0 defeat on Brazil at the iconic Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, in a match that started an hour late due to crowd disturbance.
The octuple Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi, did not shine, while Nicolás Otamendi scored the crucial goal for the Albiceleste from a minute 63 corner kick.
The win on Brazil’s home turf allows Argentina to sustain a head start in the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Brazil is drowning. The Canarinha has lost three games in a row, beginning one month ago when it lost to Uruguay (2–0), and then collapsed over the weekend against Colombia.
South American Super Clásico almost didn’t happen
The unruly scenes in the stands began while the national anthems were being played, with supporters from both sides engaging in fisticuffs. Matters only got worse until match officials and the security team stepped in, which delayed kick-off for some time.
The players came back after a lengthy delay, with Messi leading his team back onto the pitch. The Argentine captain was worried about the security of the players and their relatives who were seated in the area where the violence took place. As reported by the journal Olée, “We’re leaving!” exclaimed “La Pulga” as the melee worsened.
Argentina almost didn’t retake the field due to the tension between the two countries, with supporters of both sides engaged in fierce clashes. The Brazilian supporters’ group (Anatorg) had warned the previous day of the risks of not having a dedicated section for Argentina fans in the Maracanã. Most of them were concentrated behind one of the goals among the Brazilian supporters.
Pressure on Brazil
The calm returned to the stands, but the tension was palpable on the field. The early exchanges were particularly rough, with 10 Brazilian fouls and three whistled on Argentina during the first 20 minutes of play.
Messi had very little impact on the game and was substituted with a quarter of an hour remaining. Brazil created two chances shortly before halftime, first on a free-kick from Raphinha (38′) then a shot from Martinelli saved by Romero at the goal line (43′).
At the restart, without the injured Marquinhos (left thigh), Brazil continued to push. Argentine goalkeeper Martinez was instrumental after the break, denying Raphinha (53′) and Martinelli (57′) once again.
The sanction would not take long for the selection, punished by a corner from Giovani Lo Celso. Otamendi rose above Gabriel Magalhaes and found Alisson’s top corner (62′).
"“Great victory at the Maracaná although it will be marked by the repression of Argentines once again in Brazil. This cannot be tolerated, it is crazy and it has to end now!!” celebrated Messi on his Instagram page."
Even if the Seleçao regained hope when Endrick replaced Raphinha (71′), the Brazil fans soon became disillusioned as the home side finished the match with 10 men. Joelinton received a straight red for an elbow to the face of De Paul (83′). Fans were ready to taunt and jeer their heroes when the final whistle blew.
Brazilian fans had never seen their team lose at home in 64 previous World Cup qualifiers. Now they are in 6th place (the final qualifying spot) with 7 points from 6 games, while Argentina, serene, sits atop the Conmebol table with 15 units out of 18. Argentina retained a 2-point lead over Uruguay, who cruised past Bolivia (3-0).