With Ecuador’s win in Chile, Argentina guaranteed its place in the World Cup
Brazil visited the San Juan Centenario stadium in Argentina for one of the most important qualifying matches of the Conmebol World Cup. Before this decisive match, the ‘Canarinha’ had to qualify for the World Cup directly before facing Argentina. They won 10 against Colombia and took the pressure off this game. Coach ‘Tite’ confirmed earlier tonight that Neymar was slightly injured and hadn’t even made the trip to San Juan.
A Brazilian player who was in the starting XI was Vinicius, but he succeeded Neymar on the left winger. The Real Madrid youngster quickly became a headache for Acuña on this side, but missed out on a few big chances that could have given his side the first goal. One of the key moments of the first half was a clear red card that Otamendi should have seen after a right elbow in Matheus Cunha’s mouth. The Brazilian was inside the box so it should have been a penalty too, but the referee didn’t see it.
Even the VAR check did not convince him that this was a red card. Vinicius continued to gain momentum as he also had the opportunity to throw the ball at Emiliano Martinez, but his attempt was wide on the crossbar.Leo Messi had few chances, but the Brazilian defense aimed tonight. The guests didn’t shine much in the first half, but they certainly defended almost perfectly against this Argentina team. Messi seems to be running slower than usual, his knee pain must be severe so that he doesn’t push to the limit. Vinicius missed the best chance of the game. At the start of the second half, Lionel Scaloni decided to make two substitutions which didn’t go very well against this Brazilian defensive side. Vinicius had the most important chance of the game with a direct shot at the goalkeeper who could easily have placed himself in a better position.
He also made the Argentine defenders suffer with some good individual moments, but Angel Di Maria took his revenge with a nice nutmeg on the youngster from Real Madrid. Leo Messi struggled a bit too much, he still looked slow and wide. Rumors that his knee was still hurting spread after tonight’s performance. Chances are he’s still playing with a significant level of pain.