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Argentina hand Brazil first-ever home defeat in World Cup qualifiers

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Argentina's goal scorers Enzo Fernandez and Lionel Messi celebrate their second goal

Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 away with a stunning header from Nicolas Otamendi in a tense World Cup qualifier that was delayed by 30 minutes on Tuesday after police battled with spectators at Maracana Stadium.

Brazil’s first-ever home loss in a World Cup qualifier after going 51-13-0 in 64 previous games

Argentina’s solitary goal came off a Giovani Lo Celso corner in the 63rd minute, and Brazil’s woes were worsened when midfielder Joelinton was sent off in the 82nd minute following a confrontation with Rodrigo De Paul.

Brazil entered the match having suffered back-to-back defeats in World Cup qualifiers for the first time in their history, as the world champions handed their fiercest rivals their third consecutive setback.

Lionel Messi started what was presumably his final encounter in Brazil, but he was replaced in the 78th minute amid jeers and acclaim from Brazilian supporters.

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The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner, however, was unable to break through one of his final hurdles in the sport at the Maracana, having now failed to score in all five World Cup qualifiers against Brazil.

Argentina leads the rankings with 15 points, while Brazil is eight points down in sixth place, the final spot that secures a spot in the 2026 championships.

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