ARGENTINA CROWNED COPA AMERICA CHAMPIONS

Argentina have won the Copa America after beating Brazil 1-0 and in doing so equalled Uruguay’s all-time record of 15 titles.

The Albiceleste edged a disappointing final thanks to a moment of magic from Angel Di Maria, who lobbed Edersonafter a fine through ball from Rodrigo de Paul.

The showpiece finale between two eternal rivals was otherwise a drab affair, dominated by fouls and players on the floor, followed by more fouls. 

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Argentina likely won’t mind much, though, having done just enough to secure a historic win and bring a taste of success to a generation of fans who haven’t tasted it before. 

The trophy was the nation’s first at senior level since 1993 and, therefore, Lionel Messi‘s first as well. In truth, the no.10 was quiet in a match where both teams seemed to forget about the ball. 

A stop-start game with more arguing than football was perhaps not the spectacle neutrals had been salivating over in anticipation and neither Messi nor Neymar unable to shine on a stage which many had thought set for them. 

Indeed, if Argentina had a standout performer it was Emiliano Martinez, whose saves in the second half preserved his team’s lead. 

Perhaps the occasion was simply too much to generate the sort of entertainment fans had been hoping for. Both teams arrived at the game on incredible unbeaten runs and sometimes when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, nothing happens.

For Brazil, this was their first competitive defeat since the 2018 World Cup quarter-final against Belgium. Argentina’s last defeat was against Brazil in the 2019 Copa America semi-final. 

For the Albiceleste, the run continues thanks to a wonderful through ball from Rodrigo de Paul – heavily linked with Atletico Madrid – and an excellent, calm finish from Di Maria who lifted the ball over Ederson in the 22nd minute.

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