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Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 to win Copa America; Messi wins his first major title

RIO DE JANEIRO: Argentina lifts the Copa America title for the first time since 1993, defeating Brazil 1-0 in the final at the Maracana Stadium. Angel Di Maria scored the only goal of the game in the 22nd minute, ensuring Lionel Messi’s international title drought came to an end. The victory handed Albiceleste its 15th Copa América crown, tying them with Uruguay for the most ever.

While Brazil arrived at the historic Maracana Stadium today aiming to win their second consecutive title on home ground, Argentina took the field to end a 28-year wait. In 2019, Brazil regained the title by beating Peru. Brazil made no changes to their starting XI, whereas Argentina made five changes.

Argentina seized the lead in the 22nd minute after senior player De Maria collected a pass from Rodrigo de Paul and went alone on the right wing, deceiving Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson and chipping the ball into the net. It was only the third goal Brazil conceded in this tournament.

Brazil accelerated the game in the second half after failing to produce any good chances in the first half. Within six minutes they scored the equaliser through Richarlison, but unfortunately the side referee called offside. Shortly after, Richarlison fired another bullet shot, but Emiliano Martínez saved it with a smashing save.

In a game packed with fouls, the referee issued a total of nine yellow cards. Messi’s performance in the final was not as impressive as it had been in previous matches of the tournament. He missed a golden opportunity to score in the 88th minute while trying to dribble the Brazil goalkeeper. At the same time, Neymar put out his best performance with beautiful dribbles and passes. However, it wasn’t enough for the hosts to win their 10th Copa America championship.

This is a huge accomplishment for football legend Messi, who has lost several international trophies after reaching the finals. When the final whistle went, a tearful Messi was thrown into the air by his teammates. With four goals, the 34-year-old finished the event as the tournament’s top goalscorer and was named joint best player alongside Neymar.

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