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Brazil to ditch Messi and qualify for the Copa final

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Brazil has qualified for the final of the Copa América at the expense of Argentina on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday. The team of coach Tite jumped better in their chances than the Argentines and won 2-0 through goals from Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino. Due to the victory, Brazil is allowed to report in the Maracaña on Sunday evening, while Lionel Messi and his teammates have to play the consolation final one day earlier in São Paulo.

While David Neres was once again on the bench in Brazil and had to stay there for the entire match, Nicolás Tagliafico started in the base on the Argentinian side. The game started fiercely and it was the Ajax-back that received the first yellow card of the match after eight minutes of play after a foul on Gabriel Jesus. The disbelief at Argentina was great because Casemiro was not penalized for a similar offense just before. The team of coach Lionel Scaloni was forced backwards and received a big blow after nineteen minutes of play. The Argentinian defense was dismantled, Tagliafico had to get out and Firmino offered Gabriel Jesus an unmissable opportunity from the right flank: 1-0.

Argentina bit off and looked emphatically for the equalizer. Leandro Paredes had tried it early in the game with a 30-meter shot, but the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder just shot over Alisson Becker’s goal. After half an hour of play, Brazil escaped when Messi put a swinging free kick on the head of Sergio Agüero. The Manchester City striker had little luck and hit the bar. Ten minutes after the break, the Brazilians again escaped the tying run when Messi hit the post with a swipe from within the penalty area. From the rebound, he got the ball in front of the goal, but Agüero was short on a toe length to score.

Scaloni made offensive changes and brought Ángel Di María and Giovani Lo Celso in line, but Argentina also failed to score with fresh blood in the team. Messi might have the best chance with a free kick. His bet was picked from the cross by Alisson. Philippe Coutinho had already missed a big opportunity when Firmino threw the game into the slot twenty minutes before time. It was Gabriel Jesus who, with good preparatory work, set his teammate free for goalkeeper Franco Armani. Tagliafico arrived just too late to prevent the Liverpool attacker’s 0-2.

The frustration with Argentina is great now that the team has again failed to win a big prize. The Brazilian team can travel to Rio de Janeiro, where Sunday evening the final awaits the winner of the other semi-final between defending champions Chile and Peru.

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