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Friday, February 23, 2024

Brazil’s World Cup hope hangs in the balance after defeat to Argentina

Football giant Brazil’s hope of qualifying for the 2024 World Cup hangs in the balance after they lost 0-1 at home to Argentina early Wednesday.

Out of six matches, Brazil have lost three, drew one and won two. They sit in number six position in the South America’s World Cup qualifying table, one of the worst ever.

Brazil’s lost to Argentina was the first time they have lost a World Cup qualifying match at home. Argentina then made history as the first country to have defeated Brazil on home soil in a World Cup qualifying match.

A high-tempered affair at the Maracanã Stadium saw La Albiceleste overcome the Seleção 1-0 in the 111th meeting of the ‘Battle of the Americas’.

Flashscore reports that after kick-off was delayed by 30 minutes due to crowd trouble involving police and the Argentina players walking off the pitch as a result, the match, when it eventually got going, started in a feisty manner as tempers were clearly flared right from the off.

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The aggressive nature was symbolised by Rodrigo de Paul needing to change his bloodied shirt within 10 minutes of play, after receiving a slap to the face by Brazil’s Gabriel Jesus.

The game was being played at a breathless, frantic pace at times but such was the anger in both sets of players toward each other, it was a stop-start affair due to the sheer magnitude of fouls being committed,. This prevented any actual chances on goal, in a somewhat disappointing affair, but still, you could not keep your eyes off it. The half ended with a lack of goalmouth action and just one shot on target in total.

The second half thankfully seemed to be more about the football as both teams came out completely focused and improvised outfits after the break.

Brazil were looking the most dangerous and likely to break the deadlock as Gabriel Jesus went on a brilliant run towards goal and managed to poke the ball to his Arsenal teammate, Gabriel Martinelli, whose first time effort was superbly stopped by Emiliano Martínez.

Just as Brazil were on top, Argentina went against the run of play and opened the scoring themselves. Just past the hour mark, Giovani Lo Celso’s corner into the box was met by a towering Nicolás Otamendi, who produced a bullet header past Alisson.

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