Argentina have won the Copa America after a 1-0 win over Brazil at the Maracana Stadium in Rio.
Angel Di Maria scored the only goal of the game with a fine lob in the first half, with most of the game’s best chances thereafter coming in a late flurry during the closing stages. The opening goal, when it came, was simplicity itself: a direct, diagonal pass toward Angel Di Maria, missed entirely by Renan Lodi - and then beautifully lofted over Ederson’s head and into the net from the PSG attacker.
Gabriel did force one smart save from Martinez, who tipped over his fierce half-volley, but the game’s best late chance fell at the other end moments later - but Lionel Messi failed to finish from close range.
In the end, it mattered not at all and served to wind down more precious seconds on the clock, as the resolute Albiceleste continued to cling on until they heard the most anticipated of all final whistles in almost 30 years: the one which signalled their first Copa America triumph since the Gabriel Batistuta-inspired triumph of 1993, and the end of the long wait of Messi to add major international honours to his long line of successes.
Follow live updates, analysis and reaction to the Copa America final below:
First-half stand-outs for Argentina and Brazil
A decent game so far from Emi Martinez in goal for Argentina, if routine, while Acuna at left-back has also been a good outlet. Di Maria’s goal makes him the stand-out perhaps, but the sense has been that the midfielders have outworked and outwitted Brazil’s.
Neymar has sparked intermittently when able to run at the defence, but he’s lacking in support...and others who look capable of scoring goals, so far.
Half time in the Copa America final
Argentina 1-0 Brazil
The Albiceleste lead by a goal at the break thanks to Di Maria’s lob.
44’ - Argentina 1-0 Brazil
A much better delivery this time as Richarlison gets forward down the right and whips in a dangerous cross. Montiel has to clear it behind for a corner, just a minute or so before the break.
Marquinhos flicks on the set-piece, but it drifts harmlessly wide of the far post.
42’ - Argentina 1-0 Brazil
Acuna doesn’t foul Richarlison who falls over anyway, then as he gets up, Acuna does foul him. Richarlison then reacts angrily and the ref has to intercede quickly. Brazil could do with a bit more from the attacker up the other end of the pitch - this was near his own corner flag.
40’ - Argentina 1-0 Brazil
Another diagonal ball towards Di Maria sees him run in behind Lodi and he looks like he’s in - but as the ball bounces behind him the winger goes down holding his heel and he needs some treatment before returning.
Argentina keeping Brazil at bay so far whether they go direct through the middle or try and play down the flanks.
36’ - Argentina 1-0 Brazil
Neymar takes the free-kick and shoots, but it’s straight into the wall. Argentina try to set Lautaro away on the counter, but he can’t bring a lofted pass down and seems to have perhaps tweaked a muscle attempting to do so.
33’ - Argentina 1-0 Brazil
A dribble at either end from the two maestros. Messi’s ends in a shot just wide; Neymar’s ends in a foul by Paredes and a yellow card for the PSG midfielder. He’s not happy at being penalised, but his club team-mate easily beat him there.
29’ - Argentina 1-0 Brazil
Di Maria looks for his brace - a thunderous strike from the edge of the box, but blocked and cleared by Brazil. No real response so far from the hosts (but the away team, technically) we have to say.
We’ve barely seen Everton or Richarlison get involved in the final third.
25’ - Argentina 1-0 Brazil
A long-range effort from Casemiro, but it’s again easy for Martinez to deal with in goal for Argentina. He must be feeling extremely confident now, the Aston Villa keeper, that he has established himself as the first-choice at club and country level at long last. What a 15 months or so he has had.
GOAL! 21’ - Argentina 1-0 Brazil
Angel Di Maria has lobbed in the opener! Lodi doesn’t clear a long ball and Di Maria simply runs onto it and lifts the ball over Ederson and into the net!
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