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Argentina v Brazil Live Commentary, 17/11/21

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Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario


That concludes our commentary of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier between Argentina and Brazil! We hope you’ve enjoyed it.
The next international break comes at the end of January when both Argentina and Brazil will be on their travels - to face Chile and Ecuador respectively.
Despite a fair few chances for both sides, Brazil and Argentina are unable to separate themselves as they see out a 0-0 draw in San Juan. The hosts shaded possession throughout the contest looking to play through Messi in midfield but it proved rather ineffective as Alisson was rarely tested. Brazil were happy to hit on the counter-attack and could have gone ahead at the 71st minute, had Vinicius put more power into his effort from the corner of the penalty area which ultimately failed to challenge Emiliano Martinez. An expectedly physical affair, the draw maintains both nations’ undefeated record with 4 matches remaining. Argentina remain six points behind the Selecao, who lead the section.
90' + 2' The fourth official indicates two minutes will be added to the end of the 90 for stoppages.
90' Messi drives towards the edge of the area and fires a shot at goal but Alisson is able to stoop comfortably to make the stop.
88' With two minutes to go, Brazil look happy to hold possession and retain their unbeaten record in qualifying - as Militao keeps it before going back to Alisson, who holds onto the ball for as long as possible.
N. Domínguez
G. Lo Celso
86' A change in midfield for Argentina sees Dominguez sent on for Lo Celso.
Gabriel Jesus
Matheus Cunha
86' Jesus comes on for the final four minutes, replacing Cunha.
85' Messi takes an Argentina corner from the right deep looking for Pezzella but Alisson steps off his line comfortably to make the catch.
83' Cunha turns possession over in midfield and Argentina immediately get it up the pitch to Messi, who drives into space before playing a pass into the penalty area for Correa. The Inter forward latches onto it but his momentum takes him too far forward as he’s forced to leave it on the byline for Marquinhos.
81' Brazil and Argentina have each won three of their last six meetings, with the Albiceleste getting the better of the Selecao in the last two fixtures.
Lucas Paquetá
79' Gerson comes on for Paqueta with just over 10 minutes remaining.
78' De Paul goes down 20 yards from goal but after review it appears as though the Atletico Madrid midfielder wasn’t touched by Militao - which the referee spots immediately. Brazil are given a free-kick for their opponents’ simulation.
Yellow Card
76' Antony is booked for his reaction after Acuna's antics - pushing his opponent to the ground in frustration.
M. Acuña
Yellow Card
76' Acuna goes through the back of Antony cynically and sends him to the ground. The full-back then tells the winger to get up before hoisting him to his feet. It's a yellow card for the Sevilla defender.
76' Messi scoops the set-piece towards the six-yard box but Otamendi is unable to get on the end of the delivery as Brazil have a goal-kick.
J. Álvarez
Á. Di María
75' Di Maria makes way for River Plate’s Alvarez.
Yellow Card
73' Fabinho is shown a yellow card for a sliding tackle that catches De Paul and brings him down ahead of the penalty area.
71' CHANCE GOES TO WASTE! Danilo charges towards the penalty area and squares a pass to the left for Vinicius. The Real Madrid winger perhaps takes one touch too many and fires a low shot that Emiliano Martinez deals with easily.
69' Raphinha's match is over with 21 minutes remaining, with Ajax's Antony is sent on in his place.
67' Joaquin Correa gets into the 18-yard box and chips a cross towards the penalty spot but Di Maria is lagging too far behind to get onto the end of it - allowing Alisson to lay claim to possession.
65' Danilo delivers a lovely first-time cross into the penalty area but a diving Cunha is unable to get a redirecting touch despite flying in at the far post. Vinicius collects the loose ball near the corner flag and executes a phenomenal rainbow flick over the head of Molina before centring a pass for Paqueta - whose shot fails to hit the target.
63' Brazil have scored 18 out of their 27 goals in World Cup qualifying between the 60th and 90th minute; 66.7%.
61' CLOSE! Raphinha delivers the free-kick to the six-yard line, where it’s repelled by Otamendi. Fred is stationed on the edge of the 18-yard box and whacks a volley towards goal - where it smacks off the crossbar before going over for a goal-kick.
G. Pezzella
Yellow Card
59' Pezzella is shown a yellow card six minutes after coming on for cutting across and blocking the path of Vinicius, who was on his way into the penalty area from the left wing. It’s a free-kick to Brazil in a dangerous position.
57' Di Maria plays Joaquin Correa into the penalty area but the Inter forward fails to shoot at the first time of asking, allowing Fabinho to come across and close down the angle to block the shot.
55' The loss of Romero could play a pivotal role in the match, as the Spurs centre-back has featured in four of Argentina’s last five clean sheets.
G. Pezzella
C. Romero
53' Romero is on the pitch for less than a minute before he’s down again as Scaloni is now forced into the change. Pezzella comes on to replace him.
52' Romero seems to be clutching his hamstring after making that tackle, walking with a limp as he prepares to defend the set-piece. The fourth official holds his number up as Argentina look to bring on Pezzella but the defender signals to the bench that he’s okay to continue and he remains in the game.
C. Romero
Yellow Card
50' Romero is a bit too physical with Cunha, who was driving through the heart of the midfield towards Argentina’s goal. It’s a yellow card for the Tottenham defender.
48' Argentina have allowed just three goals in their last 10 matches and only one at home; in a 3-1 win over Venezuela at the beginning of September.
46' Argentina get the match restarted from the kick-off!
J. Correa
Lautaro Martínez
46' Joaquin Correa also gets into the action at the half, with Lautaro Martinez making way.
Lisandro Martínez
L. Paredes
46' A change at half-time sees Lisandro Martinez enter the fray in relief of Paredes.
With qualification secured already for Brazil, it will have to be the hosts to take the game to their opponents. Scaloni has a number of options to call upon should he need a goal - with both Angel and Joaquin Correa available for selection as well as young Alvarez. Brazil will no doubt look to make a switch on the wing, with Tite constantly tinkering with his wide players. No doubt Antony or Lodi will be called upon in the second half - when tired legs begin to set in.
A tight and cagey affair in San Juan comes to a close with Brazil and Argentina deadlocked at 0-0. The hosts looked to control the tempo of the match though they seemed to lack a real potent force up front. Messi has dropped deeper and deeper into midfield in order to orchestrate play, but his connection with Di Maria has been stifled by Brazil’s alert midfield duo. The Selecao look happy to allow their opponents possession and hit on the counter; a strategy that perhaps should have produced a goal had Vinicius not sent his chipped effort over the crossbar.
45' + 2' The fourth official indicates two minutes will be added to the end of the 90 for stoppages.
L. Paredes
Yellow Card
45' + 1' Paredes looks unimpressed as he’s also shown a yellow card for his role in the fracas.
Lucas Paquetá
Yellow Card
45' Paqueta gets into an argument with Paredes and the two give each other a little shove. It’s a yellow card for Paqueta, who looked to instigate it.
44' The free-kick is taken by Messi towards Otamendi, who can only turn his backward header behind for a goal-kick.
43' Cunha’s ill-advised lunge brings Lautaro Martinez to the ground, giving Argentina a set-piece on the left.
41' GREAT STOP! De Paul takes a lovely touch to open up space on the edge of the penalty area. The Atletico Madrid midfielder then takes a second to set himself for the shot before hitting an effort to the far post. Alisson immediately goes into a full-stretch dive, parrying the effort and keeping it away from danger.
39' SHOT! Fred has a go from outside the penalty area but he puts his effort directly at Emiliano Martinez - who makes the straightforward stop.
37' Messi takes a corner-kick short to De Paul, who promptly loses possession to a pressing Raphinha - who is playing with tissue in his mouth to treat the bleeding.
35' Play is stopped for Raphinha, who appears to be bleeding from his mouth after taking a nasty elbow to the face from Otamendi. It wasn’t called a free-kick on the field and VAR confirms the decision.
33' Messi is absolutely furious as he goes down on the edge of the penalty area after a falling Cunha brings the captain to the grass - but the referee sides with the Atletico Madrid striker who is deemed to have gone down under contact. It’s a Brazil free-kick as a good chance for Argentina goes begging.
31' This time it’s Paredes who’s on the end of a challenge after Fabinho throws the PSG midfielder to the ground with ease. The set-piece is taken quickly and played into the penalty area for Lautaro Martinez, who can only send his acute-angle shot off of Sandro and out for a corner.
29' Brazil play the ball out of their own penalty area brilliantly, knocking it around the pressing Argentina player with intuition. Paredes comes across however and clatters into Fred - giving the Selecao a chance to move up the pitch from a free-kick.
27' Raphinha puts the ball on his left and curls a shot from a long way out - missing the target by a considerable distance before apologising to his team-mates for the effort.
25' Di Maria centres the ball on the edge of the area for Messi, who slides to the turf as he unleashes a first-time shot. The effort looks to be on target but Danilo’s positioning allows him to block the shot before it reaches Alisson.
23' Messi is dropping deeper and deeper into midfield in order to facilitate attacking moves, but the combination of Fabinho and Fred have done well to block the little one-two passes he likes to play with Di Maria.
21' Argentina have controlled the pace of the match so far but Brazil have fashioned the better opportunities. The hosts haven’t troubled Alisson yet while they’ve allowed their opponents to exploit the spaces on the counter-attack.
19' WHAT AN ATTEMPT! Cunha spots Emiliano Martinez off his line following a turnover in midfield and has a shot at goal from inside the centre-circle! It’s a great effort from the Atletico Madrid forward but it sails over the crossbar!
17' VINICIUS GOES WIDE! A collision in defence between Romero and Otamendi allows Paqueta to play Vinicius through on goal. He brings Emiliano Martinez off his line but the attempted chip over the goalkeeper fails to hit the target.
15' A ball is played down the left for Vinicius to latch onto but Romero comes across and shoves the winger in the back, who goes down while taking the ball over the line. The Real Madrid winger is certain he should have a free-kick but the referee sees nothing wrong with the contact as Argentina are given a goal-kick.
13' The captain takes the set-piece but Sandro is well-placed to nod the danger away at the near post.
12' Lo Celso’s attempted backheel following a De Paul cross earns his side a corner-kick - to be taken by Messi.
10' De Paul gives away a free-kick after his sliding challenge upends Fabinho and sends him crashing to the ground. The Atleti midfielder is incensed with the decision but despite winning the ball, it was a dangerous tackle.
8' Messi plays a pass down the right side of the penalty area for Di Maria, who hits a first-time curler towards goal looking to recreate his strike against Uruguay. It’s a good effort but the winger doesn’t get enough power on the shot as Alisson makes the easy stop.
7' Paqueta grabs the collar of De Paul and brings him down during an aerial duel in midfield. The referee has a clear view of the incident though as he awards Argentina a free-kick.
5' Paredes gets to a loose pass in midfield ahead of Fabinho but boots the ball behind for a goal-kick in anticipation of a challenge. Brazil get away with one as Alisson is allowed to regain possession with a goal-kick.
3' Brazil press Argentina high up the pitch but Acuna’s desperate clearance takes a touch off of Cunha - giving the hosts a throw-in.
1' Brazil get the match underway from the kick-off!
Brazil make four changes to the line-up that beat Colombia on Thursday. Militao enters the defence in place of Silva, while Fabinho comes in to anchor the midfield ahead of Casemiro. The other two alterations are in attack, where Vinicius and Cunha play ahead of Jesus and Neymar - who picked up a knock in training.
Argentina make two changes from the XI that beat Uruguay 1-0 last Friday. Paredes replaces Guido Rodriguez in the heart of midfield, while Messi returns to captain the side in place of Paulo Dybala.
BRAZIL SUBS: Ederson Moraes, Emerson Royal, Renan Lodi, Thiago Silva, Antony, Philippe Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Chapeco, Edenilson, Gerson, Gabriel.
BRAZIL XI (4-2-3-1): Alisson; Danilo, Marquinhos, Eder Militao, Alex Sandro; Fabinho, Fred; Raphinha, Lucas Paqueta, Vinicius Junior; Matheus Cunha.
ARGENTINA SUBS: Nicolas Tagliafico, German Pezzella, Angel Correa, Gonzalo Montiel, Julian Alvarez, Nicolas Dominguez, Juan Musso, Lisandro Martinez, Joaquin Correa, Franco Armani, Exequiel Palacios, Guido Rodriguez.
ARGENTINA XI (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez; Marcos Acuna, Nicolas Otamendi, Cristian Romero, Nahuel Molina; Giovani Lo Celso, Leandro Paredes, Rodrigo de Paul; Angel Di Maria, Lautaro Martinez, Lionel Messi.
With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, let's take a look at how the two sides are lining up - starting with our hosts!
Despite already guaranteeing themselves a place at the World Cup proper, there is little chance that Brazil will take this match lightly, as a fixture against Argentina is never a dead rubber. Tite will be without Neymar in what is sure to be a tight and cagey affair after the Paris Saint-Germain forward picked up a knock in training and subsequently did not travel with the squad.
All eyes are on the Superclasico de las Americas as Argentina welcome Brazil to the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, looking to cut the deficit at the top of the group to just three points. Good news for the Albiceleste - who are on a 26-match unbeaten run dating back to 2019 - as talisman Lionel Messi has been deemed fit to start tonight’s match after only featuring for 15 minutes in Argentina’s narrow 1-0 win over Uruguay last time out. Lionel Scaloni’s side may have a host of world class attacking talent but it’s been the defence that’s been key to their success - earning clean sheets in each of their last five fixtures.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying match between Argentina and Brazil!