Argentina is already World Cup. Drew 0-0 against Brazil at the San Juan Bicentennial Stadium, in a lackluster classic with few goal situations. Anyway, equality gave Albiceleste the ticket to Qatar 2022. The defeats of Uruguay and Chile, and the draw of Colombia, ended up closing the classification of those led by Lionel Scaloni.
As a bonus track: the champion of America achieved it four dates before the end of the Qualifiers, which are actually five, because it still remains to be resolved in the FIFA Court of Discipline what will happen to the derby against the Verdeamarela in the first round, suspended due to the irruption of the country’s health authorities on the field of play when they were barely disputed five minutes.
On the 14th date of the South American Qualifiers, the National Team proposed a high intensity pressure at the start of the Verdeamarela, locking it in its field. That suffocation brought him fast recoveries, but he failed to translate them into precise plays, in goal situations. The visit tried to do the same when the homeowner started from the back. In that pull, Brazil knew how to cut with a foul when the actions in their field became dangerous. And in a couple of Argentine losses in sensitive areas, he almost opened the scoring.
First, at 17 minutes, Vinicius was hand in hand, but his definition, which tried to be a Vaseline, came out very deviated. Then, Matheus Cunha tried to surprise an advanced Draw Martínez with a shot from the middle of the field. And it did not go far.
The National Team was only able to get to the bottom at 24, when Di María overflowed on the right and found a centralized Messi, who loaded the power bar and hit him with his left foot, but an opposing leg prevented him from traveling towards the goal. At 30 he warned again with mischief: De Paul quickly took a free kick, Di María lengthened for Lautaro, but his shot was also blocked just by the Scratch defense.
Two moments marked the first time for Argentina. One, Otamendi’s elbow to Raphinha (it caused a cut and then lifted him off the grass to prevent him from impressing the judge), which the referee Cunha, his assistants and the VAR did not sanction (it was for a red card). Two, the warped shot of Rodrigo De Paul, who was destined for the net, but goalkeeper Alisson Becker intervened.
At the beginning of the second half, Scaloni used the first modification window to make two changes: to the court Joaquín Correa and Lisandro Martínez, for the “touched” Lautaro Martínez and Leandro Paredes. And at 7 minutes he lost to Cuti Romero, one of the figures of the match, due to a pull to the left rear. The Tottenham man tried to stay on the court, but failed.
The second part continued to be intense, but with many frictions and infractions; a procedure that the referee Andrés Cunha did not know how to carry out. Thus, the chances of breaking zero were few, much less than the fouls. Brazil was able to scream with a shot from Fred that hit the crossbar. Or with an individual move from Antony. Argentina won in game volume when De Paul and Messi met. La Pulga, even with his lack of rhythm on his back (commendable his effort not to miss, despite the injuries he carries), had the best attempt on the epilogue, at 44 minutes, with a shot that Alisson controlled in two time.
The goal would have allowed Argentina to seal the classification on the court, before its public, without the need to wait for the result of Chile, which lost 2-0 to Ecuador at home. Just a detail, which does not detract one iota of value from what Messi and his pupils achieved Neither more nor less, than the passage to a World Cup earlier in history.
Argentina: Emiliano Martínez; Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolás Otamendi, Marcos Acuña; Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Giovani Lo Celso; Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martínez and Ángel Di María. DT: Lionel Scaloni.
Brazil: Alisson; Danilo, Éder Militao, Marquinhos, Alex Sandro; Fred, Fabinho, Lucas Paquetá; Raphinha, Matheus Cunha and Vinicius Júnio. DT: Tite.
Referee: Andrés Cunha (Uruguay)
Stadium: Bicentennial, San Juan