Otamendi's header silences Maracana, powers Argentina to 1-0 victory over Brazil in World Cup 2026 Qualifiers
Nicolas Otamendi powered Argentina to a 1-0 victory against Brazil after a brawl erupted in the stands of the Maracana Stadium in the World Cup 2026 Qualifier match on Tuesday.
Nicolas Otamendi powered Argentina to a 1-0 victory over Brazil after a brawl erupted in the stands of the Maracana Stadium in the World Cup 2026 Qualifier match. Violence broke out between Argentina and Brazil fans before the game kicked off which led to a 30-minute delay.
According to Goal.com, the fans reportedly started to clash after the Selecao fans booed Argentina's national anthem. Local police intervened to stop the violence and Brazil players as well as Lionel Messi along with his teammates rushed towards the stand to calm things down.
Even after the interference of players, the brawl didn't seem to end and eventually, the Argentina team walked back to the dressing room while Brazil players stayed on the field. The game kicked off with the crowd buzzing as Brazil took the early possession. The first half carried little attacking threat as both teams struggled to create chances and combined together for 22 fouls and just a single shot on target.
The game opened in the second half as Gabriel Martinelli carried Brazil's attack but only to be denied by Emiliano Martinez at the goalpost. Argentina capitalised as Otamendi rose high following a corner from Lo Celso to break the goalless affair in the 63rd minute of the game.
Joelinton's red card in the final ten minutes further added salt to Brazil's wounds. Time continued to elapse and the Selecao ran out of opportunities. Argentina saw through the game with a 1-0 scoreline to hand Brazil their third consecutive defeat and Selecao's first home defeat in the Qualifiers.
After the game, Argentina defender Lisandro Martinez took to Instagram to express his dissatisfaction over the treatment of fans by the police and wrote, "It's a shame to see what Brazilian police are doing! So how can that be possible? How long we have to see these scenes?! It's always the same [in Brazil]." With three points in their kitty Argentina top the standings with 15 points. On the other hand, Brazil are in sixth place, the last spot that guarantees a 2026 finals spot. (ANI)
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